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    Kamloops.1 Kamloops.1 Presentation Transcript

    • Kamloops: Not a Place to Burn Paul Connett, PhD Executive Director American Environmental Health Studies Project (AEHSP) www.AmericanHealthStudies.org pconnett @ gmail .com Kamloops, BC, August 30, 2009
    • Preface
      • When I was in BC about a year ago (June, 2008) political leaders in Vancouver were raving about a wonderful new technology -
      • PLASCO (plasma arc gasifier)- being developed by former Ottawa Senators’ owner Rod Bryden
    • Preface (continued)
      • I pointed out that all this company had done was to build a 100 ton-per-day pilot project in Ottawa (about an hour from where I live)
      • While the company claimed marvelous things -
      • they had no dioxin measurements,
      • and had only produced energy for one hour (in nearly 2 years of testing!)
    • Update on the Plasco “magic machine”
    • Department of Public Works, Los Angeles , June 1, 2009
      • “ The vendor (Plasco Energy group) has not demonstrated the ability of this technology to process at least 1000 tons for any given one year period…
      • “ During the site visit, the facility was non-operational, and could not be started after several attempts by the operators. These concerns warrant the proposal unreliable for further evaluation.”
    • Email from Ottawa August 20, 2009
      • “ The pilot system has not worked for several months apparently due to mechanical problems with the feed mechanism. There has been little publicity lately. Their web site appears silent. Things look stalled. I read recently that Rod Bryden is actively hustling some other technology.”
    • The problems with the Kamloops gasification plant
      • 1) Inexperience of the operator
      • 2) Scaling up from a small research project to a commercial operation
      • 3) This Gasification plant is an incinerator in disguise
      • 4) Kamloops is not the place to run a burning experiment
      • 5) Commercial gasification plants have a dismal track record
    • The problems with the Kamloops gasifying incinerator (continued)
      • 6) Burning any kind of waste is dangerous
      • 7) Creosote treated ties presents a complex burning problem
      • 8) Creosote treated ties may be the thin end of the wedge
      • 9) Disposal of toxic by-products
      • 10) Incineration of any kind threatens local democracy
    • 1) Inexperience of the operator
      • From what I can gather
      • The company has not a run facility of this type anywhere else
      • This company seems to have more prowess at putting business deals together and attracting government grants than it has in engineering skills
      • The people that push these appear to be far more interested in making energy than the subtle problems of air pollution
    • 2) Scaling up from a small research project
      • People have been proposing using gasification to deal with a whole variety of waste streams for many years
      • The big problem has been scaling up from a lab-type scale to commercial operations
      • There have been many economic and environmental failures
    • 3) This Gasification plant is an incinerator in disguise
      • Incinerators are so unpopular with the public that promoters use different names like resource recovery facilities, waste-to-energy
      • The latest phase is to call them gasifiers, pyrolyzers or plasma arc facilities
      • These would be genuine names if the gases produced were converted into liquid fuels or chemical feedstock, but
      • When the gas is burned then they become incinerators in disguise
    • This plant is a gasifying incinerator
      • Step 1: the solid waste (creosote treated ties) is converted to a gas, and
      • Step 2: the gas is burned in an engine
      • When the gas is burned you create many of the same problems as incineration.
      • Air pollution is hostage to 1) how well the gas is cleaned before it is burned and 2) how well the gases from the engine are cleaned before they go into the air.
      • The better the cleaning devices the more toxic are the by-products which have to be got rid of
    • In a modern waste incinerator more than half the total capital costs goes into air pollution control equipment and the captured fly ash has to be treated as hazardous waste
    • CHUTE SECONDARY CHAMBER TURBINE BOILER ELECTRICITY STEAM TRASH BOTTOM ASH FLY ASH TEMP < 200oC SEMI- DRY SCRUBBER FABRIC FILTER WET SCRUBBER DE-NOX ACTIVATED CHARCOAL Ca(OH) 2 SUSPENSION AMMONIA INJECTION GRATES For every 3-4 tons of trash you get about one ton of ash
    • 4) Kamloops is not the place to run a burning experiment
      • Kamloops has a large population
      • Your river is perhaps the most precious you have
      • Kamloops has a topography which does not allow ready dispersal of pollutants from its air shed (inversions etc)
      • Your air shed is already overburdened
      • You have over two times the average background levels in Canada
    • BC Fine Dust (2006 Ministry of Environment)
    • 4) Kamloops is not the place to run a burning experiment (cont)
      • You are already suffering the consequences of that pollution
      • Higher asthmatic rates etc
      • You don’t need to make that worse
      • Even a clean wood burner would not be appropriate in this air space
      • These railroad ties are going to come from a very large region - is this the best location in that whole region to build such a facility?
    • 5) The track record of commercial gasification plants is dismal
      • There is a world of difference between the claims made by promoters (sales hype or PR) and the reality when they are built.
      • Here I will examine some of the claims and then compare it with the reality
      • Many of the following slides are taken from GreenAction ( greenaction.org ) which along with GAIA ( no-burn.org ) have produced a report on “incinerators in disguise”
    • THE CLAIMS
    • INDUSTRIAL CLAIMS
    • The THERMOSELECT Gasifying incinerator Built in KARLSRUHE, Germany, in 1998
    • THERMOSELECT Resource Recovery Process Presented to Greater London Authority on 13 March 2003 – City Solutions Stakeholder Day
    • THE REALITY
    • THERMOSELECT FACILITY IN KARLSRUHE
    • Gasification - Thermoselect
      • Reality: A Total Financial, Technical & Environmental Disaster
      • Germany 1999 – 2004 planned for 225,000 tons/year (owner ENBW - a giant power company)
      • Actual realised annual throughput: 13 – 52 %; frequent mal-functions and major shut-downs
      • Plant in “ test service” for 3 years: much higher than normal emission levels granted
      • At 117,000 tons per year actual throughput:
              • 750 million standard cubic feet of natural gas was consumed (40,000 tons CO 2 )
              • 400,000 m 3 groundwater used (and applied for 1,000,000 m 3 per year)
              • dumped 90,000 – 120,000 m 3 per year (polluted) waste water
              • 27,000 tons slag – to be treated as industrial waste
              • 1,700 tons zinc-concentrate - to be treated as industrial waste
              • 1,100 tons sulphur cake - to be treated as industrial waste
              • 3,200 tons highly toxic mixed salts - to be treated as industrial waste
              • 700 tons other – high air emissions (SO 2 , NO x etc)
      • Final shut-down in 2004: close to 1 B$ loss; all TS projects in Europe cancelled. Endless expensive law suits against ENBW and communities
    • Despite this dismal failure
      • Thermoselect was one of the technologies chosen for development in Christina Lake by the Aquilini empire
      • The previous slide was presented at a public hearing in Christina Lake by a local engineer Raimund Wage (a project engineer for Shell)
    • The BRIGHTSTAR gasifying incinerator built in WOLLONGONG, Australia in 2001
    • THE REALITY
    • BRIGHTSTAR’S WOOLONGONG FACILITY
    • GASIFICATION, PYROLYSIS
      • Engineering consultants’ view:
      • “ Many of the perceived benefits of gasification and pyrolysis over combustion technology proved to be unfounded. These perceptions have arisen mainly from inconsistent comparisons in the absence of quality information.”
      • Fichtner Consulting Engineers Ltd, Stockport, Cheshire, March, 2004
      • Lurgi (a major engineering company) pulled out of the gasification business in 2003 (see letter)
    • Lurgi letter
      • “… a decision has been taken within Lurgi to discontinue marketing gasification and pyrolysis technologies for waste conversion applications.
      • This decision has come after rigorous analysis of market requirements, technical feasibility and economic sensitivities of gasification and pyrolysis of waste, as applied by Lurgi and our competitors.
      • We recognize there is a positive bias towards gasification/pyrolysis amongst politicians and environmentalists. However, we are in no doubt that in the short to medium term neither technology will be developed and commercially proven to the point where it can compete.”
      • Letter (08-09-2003) to Fichter Consulting Engineers Ltd, Cheshire, UK
    • PLASCO (plasma arc gasifying incienrator)
      • Has built a 100 ton per day pilot plant in Ottawa, Canada
      • Is aggressively marketing technology all over Canada, US and some other countries
      • The owner of PLASCO, former owner of the Ottawa Senators, has made some extraordinary claims about the facility:
    • PLASCO CEO Rod Bryden says:
      • 1) Filter ash goes back into furnace.
      • 2) System produces no dioxin because no oxygen available.
      • 3) System destroys nanoparticles.
      • 4) Slag to be used in asphalt & concrete.
      • 5) Salt to be used on roads.
      • 6) Sulfur to be used in agriculture.
    • Department of Public Works, Los Angeles , June 1, 2009
      • “ The vendor (Plasco Energy group) has not demonstrated the ability of this technology to process at least 1000 tons for any given one year period…
      • “ During the site visit, the facility was non-operational, and could not be started after several attempts by the operators. These concerns warrant the proposal unreliable for further evaluation.”
    • Other rejections:
      • Port Moody, BC, recetnly rejected a Plasco facility
      • Ashcroft, BC, recently rejected a gasification facility (supposedly to be opened in 2008) to burn croesote treated railroad ties
    • 6. Burning any kind of waste is dangerous
      • Burning produces toxic air emissions
      • Burning is never complete - YOU ALWAYS GET products of incomplete combustion (PICs)
      • Elements cannot be destroyed with burning. Any toxic metals present in the waste are released
      • As you get better at protecting the air, the collected residues (solid or wet - fly ash of scrubbing effluent) are more toxic and more expensive to get rid of
    • Incinerators put many highly toxic and persistent substances into the air
    • AIR EMISSIONS CO2 + H2O ACID GASES : HCI, HF, SO 2 NO x
    • AIR EMISSIONS CO2 + H2O ACID GASES : HCI, HF, SO 2 NO x TOXIC METALS : Pb, Cd, Hg, As, Cr etc
    • AIR EMISSIONS CO2 + H2O ACID GASES : HCI, HF, SO 2 NO x TOXIC METALS : Pb, Cd, Hg, As, Cr etc NEW COMPOUNDS : PCDDs (DIOXINS) PCDFs (FURANS) PCB’s ETC
    • AIR EMISSIONS CO2 + H2O ACID GASES : HCI, HF, SO 2 NO x TOXIC METALS : Pb, Cd, Hg, As, Cr etc NEW COMPOUNDS : PCDDs (DIOXINS) PCDFs (FURANS) PCB’s ETC NANO PARTICLES
    • Size of Particle regulated in incinerator emissions NANOPARTICLES
    •  
    • Chlorinated hydrocarbons Brominated/chlorinated dioxins and furans Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons Catalytic oxidizers
    • Incineration and nanoparticles
      • Nanoparticles are not efficiently captured by air pollution control devices
      • Travel long distances
      • Remain suspended for long periods of time (especially during air inversions over cities)
      • Penetrate deep into the lungs
    • We already know that air particulate matter causes many health problems
    • RESPIRATORY PROBLEMS related to air particulate
      • Allergies
      • Asthma
      • Acute and chronic bronchitis
      • Emphysemia
      • lung Cancer
      PM 10 PM 2,5 Slide from Dr. Ferninando Largi
    • Nanoparticles are worse than 10 micron particles, or 2.5 micron particles or even 1 micron particles
    • BLOOD Nano particles are so small they can easily cross the lung membrane
    • Nano Pathology
      • Once nanoparticles have entered the bloodstream they can easily cross the membranes of every tissue in the body.
    • Nano Pathology
      • They can even cross the blood brain barrier
    • Aggregati di Piombo , Bario , Cromo , Ferro e Silicio in Cervello . www.stefanomontanari.net
    • Dioxins and Incineration (more detailed ppt available)
    • Dioxins - major concerns
      • Dioxins accumulate in animal fat.
      • One liter of cows’ milk gives the same dose of dioxin as breathing air next to the cows for EIGHT MONTHS (Connett and Webster, 1987).
      • Dioxins steadily accumulate in human body fat.
      • The man cannot get rid of them BUT A woman can…
      • … by having a baby!
    • Dioxins: the highest dose goes to the fetus
      • In nine months much of the dioxin which has accumulated in the mother’s fat for 20-30 years goes to the fetus
    • Dioxins can disrupt fetal and infant development
      • Dioxins act like fat soluble hormones
      • Disrupt at least 6 different hormonal systems:
      • male and female sex hormones ;
      • thyroid hormones ;
      • insulin; gastrin and gluocorticoid.
    • Dioxins interfere with fetal and infant development
      • Linda S. Birnbaum ( Health Effects Research Laboratory, US EPA) Developmental Effects of Dioxins Environmental Health Perspectives , 103 : 89-94, 1995
    • Our Stolen Future How Man-made Chemicals are Threatening our Fertility, Intelligence and Survival Theo Colborn John Peterson Myers Dianne Dumanoski 1994
    • Institute of Medicine, 2003
      • Dioxins and Dioxin-like Compounds in the Food Supply
      • Strategies to Decrease Exposure
      • July 1, 2003
    • Institute of Medicine, 2003
      • Fetuses and breastfeeding infants may be at particular risk from exposure to dioxin like compounds (DLCs) due to their potential to cause adverse neurodevelopmental, neurobehavioral, and immune system effects in developing systems…
    • Institute of Medicine, 2003
      • …The committee recommends that the government place a high public health priority on reducing DLC intakes by girls and young women in the years well before pregnancy is likely to occur.
      • (by) Substituting low-fat or skim milk, for whole milk, (and)… foods lower in animal fat…
    • Dioxins & Incineration (conclusions)
      • We have too much dioxin in our food
      • We have too much dioxin in our bodies
      • We have too much dioxin in our babies
      • We shouldn’t be putting any more dioxin into the environment if we can possibly avoid doing so
      • Incineration is an AVOIDABLE source of dioxin
    • 7) Creosote treated ties presents a complex burning problem
      • Creosote has been used for a long time to protect wood
      • It is very effective
      • But we now know that it is a very toxic material
      • It presents some serious problems when you try to burn it
    • Creosote
      • Creosote is derived from coal tar
      • It contains benzene,
      • phenols,
      • polyaromatics
      • Many of these substances are carcinogenic
      • All are precursors for dioxin and furan formation when burned if there is a source of chlorine available. Chloride ion is present in wood.
      • Commercial wood burners emit dioxin
    • DIOXINS The chemical structures
    • Dioxin like compounds (DLC)
      • 3 families
      • PCBs
      • PCDFs (furans)
      • PCDDs (dioxins)
      • There are many others, but these are the most familiar
    • Benzene
    • BENZENE
    • BIPHENYL
    • One of 209 PCBS
    • One of 209 PCBS PCBs = a family of compounds in which chlorine atoms are substituted for hydrogen at 1 to 10 positions of BIPHENYL . Polychlorinated biphenyls
    • Furans (or PCDFs) have an oxygen atom forming a five membered ring (the furan) between the two benzenes of PCBs. There are 135 furans.
    • Furans (or PCDFs) have an oxygen atom forming a five membered ring (the furan) between the two benzenes of PCBs. There are 135 furans. Furans (or PCDFs)
    • 2,3,7,8-TETRACHLORODIBENZO-P-DIOXIN Dioxins (or PCDDs) have two oxygen atoms linking the two benzene rings, forming the dioxin ring. There are 75 dioxins.
    • 2,3,7,8-TETRACHLORODIBENZO-P-DIOXIN Dioxins (or PCDDs) have two oxygen atoms linking the two benzene rings, forming the dioxin ring. There are 75 dioxins. Dioxins (or PCDDs)
    • 2,3,7,8-TETRA CHLORO DIBENZO FURAN 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
    • There are 17 extremely toxic dioxins and furans. They have chlorine at the 2,3,7 and 8 positions: 7 Dioxins and 10 Furans
    • Other Dioxin like compounds
      • PCBs (poly chlorinated biphenyls)
      • PBBs (poly brominated biphenyls)
      • PBDFs (poly brominated dibenzo furans)
      • PBDDs (poly brominated dibenzo dioxins)
      • PBCDDs and PBCDFs (mixed brominated and chlorinated dibenzo dioxins and furans)
      • PBDPE (poly brominated diphenyl ethers)
      • Poly brominated and chlorinated napthalenes
      • Nitrogen and sulfur analogues!
    • DIOXINS : The biology
    • Dioxin Or Dioxin-like Compound (DLC) CELL
    • Ah receptor
    •  
    • Arnt protein
    • Complex With Changed shape
    •  
    • DNA NUCLEUS
    • Dioxins do not cause mutations But switch on genes
    • Switching on a gene means producing a specific messenger RNA which codes for a specific protein
    • messenger RNA travels to the ribosome (= protein factory)
    • In the ribosome the messenger RNA directs the production of a specific protein
    • New protein
    • New protein New protein modifies the activity of the cell
    • Ah receptor
    • Two remarkable things about the
      • 1) After 30 years of research scientists do not know what it is in the cell for. They have not identified its normal ligand or function.
      • ?
      • 2) The Ah receptor appears in evolution at the same time as the backbone appears in fish. Every species above invertebrates has the Ah receptor.
      Ah Receptor
    • Incineration is poorly and unscientifically monitored
    • YOU NEED THREE THINGS TO PROTECT THE PUBLIC FROM TOXIC EMISSIONS.
    • YOU NEED THREE THINGS TO PROTECT THE PUBLIC FROM TOXIC EMISSIONS. STRONG REGULATIONS
    • YOU NEED THREE THINGS TO PROTECT THE PUBLIC FROM TOXIC EMISSIONS. STRONG REGULATIONS ADEQUATE MONITORING
    • YOU NEED THREE THINGS TO PROTECT THE PUBLIC FROM TOXIC EMISSIONS. STRONG REGULATIONS ADEQUATE MONITORING TOUGH ENFORCEMENT
    • YOU NEED THREE THINGS TO PROTECT THE PUBLIC FROM TOXIC EMISSIONS. STRONG REGULATIONS ADEQUATE MONITORING TOUGH ENFORCEMENT IF ANY LINK IS WEAK THE PUBLIC IS NOT PROTECTED
    • The use of the flare stack
      • “The flare stack will be used for start-up, shut-down, and unplanned events (less than 5% of the time).”
      • ACC Permit application to MOE, ( June 2009)
      • These are periods of maximum dioxin emissions!
      • Nearly one hour a day!
      • 17 days a year!
    • Q & A to ACC
      • Q. What will be the air emissions? Details?
      • A. Less than Natural gas, again our technical report provides details the expected emissions.
      • Q. What are the permitted levels of dioxins?
      • A. Almost every human industrial activity and some recreational activities such as campfires and fireplaces produce dioxins. Or process minimizes tars and results in a cleaner quality gas.
    • Stantec, August 25, 2009
      • Section 4. Air Emissions
      • 4.1.1 Engine emissions
      • The emission rates and stack parameters for the two 1 MW internal combustion engines were calculated based on preliminary data obtained from tests conducted by the Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC 2008;EERC 2009)… no data given
      • Table 2 gives estimated emission rates in grams per second for SO2, CO, NOx, PM (PM2.5)
    • Dioxin monitoring in North America is totally inadequate
      • Incinerator only measured once a year - usually with a month’s notice to the company
      • Data collected under ideal conditions
      • 3 x 6 hour tests used
      • 18 hours of IDEAL data being used to extrapolate to 8000 hours of REAL operation
      • Worse still - they use an AVERAGE instead of a 95% upper confidence level
    • 8) Creosote treated ties may be the thin end of the wedge
      • A huge concern is that in addition to creosote treated ties
      • The plant will “accidentally” or out of “economic necessity” burn ties, or other wood, treated with pentachlorophenol or copper chromium arsenate
      • And/or wood derived from construction and demolition debris
    • 9) Handling of the residues presents another burden on the community
      • The plant will produce solid residues - bottom or furnace ash/char and possibly fly ash
      • If a wet scrubbing system is used it will also produce a liquid effluent
      • These will be passed onto the community for disposal
      • This may be a blessing in disguise as it will provide a point of intervention by local decision makers
    • 10) Incineration of any kind threatens local democracy
      • Often the state or province is in favor of incineration. It is a lazy quick fix and promises to produce “alternative energy.”
      • But incineration is very unpopular with the public. It threatens their health and they don’t trust authorities to protect them. In Canada and the US regulatory standards are weak and poorly monitored.
      • Incineration threatens existing economic interests like agriculture, fishing and tourism.
      • And because public perception is so bad it threatens property values.
      • The struggle is to find a way to get the democratic process to protect the citizens’ interest rather than corporate interest.
    • Local intervention
      • 1) Councilors should be encouraged to set up a “task force” to investigate the impacts that this facility will have on the local community, which can have far broader terms of reference than the provincial bureaucratic assessment.
      • 2) A full environmental impact assessment needs to be undertaken to assess the impacts of local disposal of the solid and liquid effluents from this facility.
    • The problems with the Kamloops gasification plant
      • 1) Inexperience of the operator
      • 2) Scaling up from a small research project to a commercial operation
      • 3) This Gasification plant is an incinerator in disguise
      • 4) Kamloops is not the place to run a burning experiment
      • 5) Commercial gasification plants have a dismal track record
    • The problems with the Kamloops gasifying incinerator (continued)
      • 6) Burning any kind of waste is dangerous
      • 7) Creosote treated ties presents a complex burning problem
      • 8) Creosote treated ties may be the thin end of the wedge
      • 9) Disposal of toxic by-products
      • 10) Incineration of any kind threatens local democracy
    • My advice: Fight this project
      • I came here to show you that the science - as well as the common sense - is on your side on this issue
      • But I can’t win this battle for you -only you can do that
      • Polite people get poisoned -
      • Angry people get organized!
      • Don’t let them marginalize your leaders
      • Don’t let them tell you that if you knew as much about their technology as they did, you would realize that they are brilliant and you are stupid!
      • A threatened community is a strengthened community - IF - You ALL work together to beat the threat
    • Don’t be fooled
      • Promoters will urge you to wait for the Province to resolve any health issues
      • But your best chance of stopping this project is while it is still in the democratic process
      • You have to make it very clear to your political leaders - AT ALL LEVELS - that you do not want this facility
    • This isn’t just a local issue
      • There are 30- 40 gasification and other incinerator proposals in BC right now. This facility could set a horrible precedent.
      • In addition to the toxicity issues there is the issue of sustainability
      • Incineration is a huge sabotage of a genuine attempt to move towards a sustainable society, which more than anything else requires a shift from the back end of waste disposal to the front end of industrial design.
      • I have a separate presentation on this, which I can make available
    • Three final messages
      • 1. To citizens - don’t let the experts take your common sense away
      • 2. To politicians - put your faith back in people
      • 3. To activists -
      • HAVE F U N !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    • God recycles, The devil burns
    • Extra Slides: Waste Management & Sustainability