B y PJ Ferguson

So far the only thing the proposed waste-to-energy plant is producing is controversy.

The plant has been drawn to the attention of environmentalists all over.

Tracey Frisch of Greenwich, founder of the Clean Air Action Network of Glens Falls, is advising the village to dump the plant deal.

“The problem with gasification is most of these proposals never come to fruition or don’t function once they do,” said Frisch.

The technology is largely unproven as only one company, Enersol in Fairfax County, Virginia has successfully operated a pilot plant, getting approval from the state on its emissions.

Enersol’s pilot plant has been shut down since 2010, as it seeks to work with Inova Medical Center to turn medical waste into usable products. However, zoning laws have prevented it from being a done deal.

Several other plants utilizing gasification and plasma technologies have failed due to technical and financial reasons, Frisch said.

For example, Plasco in Ottawa, Canada, opened a plasma arc pilot plant in 2008, designed to handle 85 tons of waste per day. Instead they averaged about four tons per day during their first year. In 2015, the plant basically folded when they laid off 80 employees and Plasco filed for creditor protection.

Another company, Taylor Biomass, has been attempting to get off the ground in Orange County, New York – for the past 10 years.

Mike Ewall of Philadelphia, founder of Energy Justice, said he is familiar with all of these terms that these type of companies throw out.

“These are incinerators,” said Ewall. “They are playing public relations games.”

 

This is only a preview of the story published in the Whitehall Times. To read the full story, pick up a print copy of this week’s paper at the newsstand or read it online here.

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