Power Plant Info 08 01 08
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Power Plant Info 08 01 08

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  • 1. POWER PLANT INFO 08/01/08 We respect and understand the con- cerns of the residents in Chelmsford “Projects and their elected officials. We have de- veloped three other power plants in the state, and they have operated with a solid safety record. like this Our plant will be staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week by personnel are not at our Lowell plant, which is less than 10 minutes from the site as stated in the site security and emer- needed” gency response plans. We will have secured Internet connection with police, fire and our plant. Additionally, sensors and cameras will be monitor- ing the site and will have the ability to shut down all key equipment remotely. In fact, our primary response with any - Ian Bowles alarm will be to shut the plant down immediately and then consult with Mass Secretary of safety officials. Energy - JOSEPH FITZPATRICK on the proposed DG Clean Power, CEO Billerica Power Plant March 6th 2008 July 22nd Lowell MA ********************************************************************************************************************** “I think it is the responsibility of our board to do everything in our power to make sure we protect the health and safety of our residents” residents - Bill Dalton Chelmsford Board of Selectmen meeting Feb 25th 2008
  • 2. INDEX: PAG E 3 : N e w s f r o m B i l l e r i c a Po w e r P l a n t . o r g PAG E 6 : Tw o M o r e R e a s o n s t o s t o p b u i l d i n g p o l u t i n g p o w e r p l a n t s PAG E 7 : I n To w n N e w s : T h e A g g r e g a t e s t o r y s o f a r
  • 3. N e w s f ro m B i l l e r i c a Po w e r P l a n t . o r g Please share with your friends, family, and neighbors. www.BillericaPowerPlant.org 21 July 2008 On Wednesday evening July 16th, the proponent and supporting consultants pre- sented their Notice of Intent and Transmission Line Interconnect documents to the Billerica Conservation Commission. These are very lengthy documents, but consult- ants for the proponent presented key points, with their spin, to the Commission. The Billerica Conservation Commission was well prepared, and they and Billerica’s con- sultants on storm water management and wetlands impact responded with many questions and concerns. In addition, well informed residents asked questions of the proponent, and raised yet further issues. Audio from the meeting is available here. The questions and issues raised, particularly by the Conservation Commission, were in three general directions: insufficient information, just meeting the standards, and disregard for town bylaws. The town’s consultants observed that there were many pieces of information missing from the documents. Whether these were conscious omissions or otherwise, DG and friends have some follow-up work to do. The Commission also highlighted several instances in which the developer’s proposal showed “blatant disregard for Town bylaws”. Chairwoman Giovino is to be commended for making these points clear to the developer. To think about details, just briefly, the proponent proposes to remove over 10,000 square feet of tree canopy -- which means, by their own admission, cutting the trees down to stumps. They would also be re-locating an interstate natural gas pipeline, creating gravel roads, displacing existing wetlands, which are a protected resource, and encroaching on a buffer zone. A second part of the project would be the con- struction of transmission towers and lines to connect the plant to the grid. Another several thousand square feet of tree canopy would be removed, and one or more towers would sit in a designated flood plain, among other impacts. The storm water management system has components that rely on manual intervention, and it was not clear, for example, how that would interplay with fuel delivery execution and who would execute the manual steps.
  • 4. The Billerica Conservation Commission’s next meeting concerning the proponent’s submissions is scheduled for September 24, 2008. Chairwoman Giovino strongly en- couraged questions from the public regarding wetlands/wildlife impact of the pro- posal. Questions should be e-mailed to the Commission at jdepper-nash@town.billerica.ma.us. In separate business, the Energy Facilities Siting Board (EFSB) heard testimony from Abdul Alkhatib, the Director of Public Works in Billerica, regarding Billerica’s ability to provide water to the proposed plant. Notable points from the testimony were Lowell’s designation as the secondary water source for the plant, which would mean trucking through Lowell and Tewksbury to get to the site, and the description by Mr. Alkhatib of the proposed plan for water conservation in Billerica so the plant has enough water to operate as being “sketchy”. As an example, only voluntary indoor residential conservation is being targeted, and the purpose is only to achieve “neutral impact” relative to the plant’s usage. Curiously, no conservation measures for businesses are being proposed at this time. In addition, the water from the WWTP may not be of suf- ficient grade for the plant to use, and the DPW needs to consider whether it would make changes in its processing to accommodate the plant’s needs. Something just doesn't seem right with that … In other news, Environment Massachusetts, a division of MassPIRG, is canvassing lo- cally in Tewksbury and Billerica to raise awareness and gain support for the Global Warming Solutions Act. As part of their efforts, they are making residents aware of the Billerica power plant proposal and the impact this local project would have on the overall global warming issue. As a final humorous point, a job posting for an instrumentation and controls techni- cian at the L’Energia plant in Lowell is available on-line. The posting notes that “expe- rience is a plus”. That should make everyone a bit nervous given that the developer has stated that the Billerica power plant will be monitored remotely from the L’Energia facility, three miles away in Lowell. According to the listing, the job pays $36-$40 an hour. L’Energia is an 85 MW gas-fired power plant due to go online this summer lo- cated at 2 Tanner Street in Lowell, right at the Connector. Help Raise Awareness Many residents don't have access to electronic media and may not have the chance to learn about the power plant issue. If you'd like to distribute flyers to your neigh- bors, friends and family, work, or church group, send an e-mail to info@billericapow- erplant.org and we can provide the necessary flyers. **********************************************************************************************
  • 5. 28 July 2008 On Tuesday July 22nd, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and his Cabinet visited the Butler Middle School in Lowell as part of the Governor’s summer tour. Members of the Cabinet spoke about issues and initiatives relative to their respective offices. Of note from the meeting are Secretary Ian Bowles’ brief, but specific comments on the Billerica power plant. C l i c k h e r e t o l i s t e n t o S e c r e t a r y B o w l e s ’ s t a t e m e n t s . The Secretary stated that “projects like this are not needed”, but he also underscored that while his office is responsible for the permitting of such facilities, they do not de- termine whether or not a given plant is needed. Through citizen efforts, Governor Patrick, Secretary Bowles, and our local delegation are very aware of the strong opposition to the proposed plant. Your phone calls and correspondences to these government officials expressing concern about the pro- posed plant send a strong message. C l i c k h e r e t o a c c e s s c o m m u n i t y - s p e c i f i c c o n t a c t s . A simple note expressing your concerns with health, safety, drinking water risks, or environmental impact is very important. If you haven’t sent a message to the governor or Secretary Bowles, please do so. They are listening! Lastly, as an example of what can go wrong, this week a car traveling on the Ward Hill Connector in Haverhill struck a utility pole carrying high voltage power lines that transfer electricity from the Covanta trash to energy plant to a nearby substation. The plant was offline for 15 hours as were all telephone communications to the site. C l i ck h e r e t o r e a d t h e a r t i c l e .
  • 6. http://www.leftinlowell.com/category/community/billerica-power-plant/ L eft In Low el l Member of the reality-based community of progressive Massachusetts blogs July 28, 2008 Two More Reasons to Stop Building Polluting Power Plants by Lynne at 11:58 am. The Patrick administration admits they should not be needed if their energy plan works (hear Secre- tary Ian Bowles at Lowell’s public meeting last week talking about the Billerica power plant), many local officials are opposed, and specifically, the peak power plant being proposed in Billerica is just that - a peak power plant, less efficient and more polluting than other peak usage solutions, such as grid energy storage. The only people who really want the plant built are those slated to make mil- lions on it selling us power that, it turns out, we really don’t need. Not if we go California’s route, that is. Sensible regulation has stabilized California’s usage of energy, despite its population and economic growth. According to the article at Salon, In the past three decades, electricity consumption per capita grew 60 percent in the rest of the nation, while it stayed flat in high-tech, fast-growing California. If all Americans had the same per capita electricity demand as Californians currently do, we would cut electricity consumption 40 per- cent. If the entire nation had California’s much cleaner electric grid, we would cut total U.S. global- warming pollution by more than a quarter without raising American electric bills. And if all of America adopted the same energy-efficiency policies that California is now putting in place, the country would never have to build another polluting power plant. Saving energy is also saving money, and given our growing energy costs (like your gas bill, which has increased largely due to demand from new power plants like the one being proposed in Biller- ica) we could all use the break for our household budgets. Simple things, like painting the flat roofs of warehouses white, or requiring outdoor lighting to lose less than 6% of the light to an upwards direction (requiring lower wattage to light the same square footage) can go a long way, but businesses don’t do these things out of the goodness of their hearts. Read the rest of the article, it’s really excellent. Yet again it shows that reducing climate-changing pollution and our dependence on foreign sources of carbon-based fuel does not have to cost us - in fact, it will benefit consumers, businesses, and most of all, our economy. Second place in today’s news in why-the-Billerica-power-plant-is-a-bad-idea, who wants to wake up to a sound like your kettle on the stove whistling, except as loud as a power plant can make it? “It sounded like a very loud whistle, for a short duration of time, until proper operations could be re- stored,” Nydam said. “The valves helped save the plant, but they did create a lot of noise, which some folks in the area reported to the mayor’s office.” Nydam said National Grid spent 15 hours repairing the power lines that were damaged, and that during that time his plant’s entire phone system was out of order. Oh and did we mention that the Billerica power plant is slated to be a “remote operations” plant? You know, via phone and internet, and stuff. Run from Lowell. Real secure.
  • 7. I n To w n N e w s Aggregate is no longer going to be self reporting. In our meeting with DEP it was relayed to us that as part of the settlement, the state mandated a third party Environmental company to perform the ongoing review of their facilities and reporting for their facilities. The DEP also stated that they would be willing to share those re- ports with the town and in any event, in the event we approved the replacement of the fuel tanks, one of the many conditions we would impose would require that the town receive these reports from this third party company. This would be a major improvement in terms of doing away with their self reporting and also the town getting records for this facility going forward. There were also several other conditions we discussed at our work session and will be meeting with the DEP for a second time to dis- cuss some other options to protect the town. So all in all, it seems that things are moving in the right direction. Philip Eliopoulos Chairman of the Board of Selectmen - 7/17/08
  • 8. The Aggregate Story so far... -------------------------------------------------------------------- MARTHA COAKLEY ATTORNEY GENERAL April 16, 2008 - For immediate release: ATTORNEY GENERAL MARTHA COAKLEY REACHES SETTLEMENT WITH AGGREGATE INDUSTRIES FOR AL - LEGED VIOLATIONS OF MASSACHUSETTS ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS BOSTON – Today, Attorney General Martha Coakley’s Office entered into a settlement with Saugus-based Aggregate In- dustries-Northeast Region, Inc., (Aggregate-Northeast), which resolves alleged violations of the Massachusetts Clean Air Act at ten of the company’s construction and building materials production facilities in the state. Under the terms of the consent judgment, which was entered today in Suffolk Superior Court, the company must pay a $587,000 civil penalty, $75,000 of which will be waived if the company complies with the terms of the settlement The complaint alleges scores of violations at the ten Aggregate facilities across the state. The alleged violations in- clude: Asserted Violations at Facilities in Northeastern Massachusetts Saugus and Chelmsford Facilities: Burning approximately 500,000 more gallons of specification waste oil at the asphalt plants at both facilities than al- lowed by the applicable air pollution control permits during 2005. By burning more of the dirtier and cheaper waste oil, as opposed to the more expensive and cleaner natural gas or No. 2 fuel oil, the company saved money and emitted more pollution then it would have if it had complied with the approved limits. Burning specification waste oil with more sulfur than the applicable air pollution control permit allowed at the Chelms- ford facility’s asphalt plant in 2005. Failing to report these alleged violations to MassDEP in a timely manner as required by the applicable air pollution control permits. Failing to maintain up-to-date records of emissions and fuel use as required by the applicable air pollution control per- mits in 2005. These records are required to allow MassDEP to track facility compliance and to help companies to avoid violating applicable limits. Operating a motor vehicle fuel dispenser with parts that were damaged or installed incorrectly in contravention of the Massachusetts air pollution control regulations. The applicable regulations, known as Stage II requirements, are in- tended to prevent the release of fuel vapors to the air during automobile refueling by collecting fuel vapors and direct- ing them to storage tanks where they can be recycled into fuel. -------------------------------------------------------------------- Planning Board looks at Aggregate expansion proposal By Sean McGee/Correspondent Fri Apr 25, 2008 CHELMSFORD - After nearly two hours of questions and discussion, the Planning Board voted to continue its hearing on Aggregate Industries proposed expansion of its site in town. The board asked representatives from the company to provide updated plans and information at its next meeting in May. Aggregate Industries, an asphalt production company, is seeking to expand its operations at its plant in Chelmsford. The company wishes to increase the total amount of fuel and liquid asphalt held on its property from 68,000 gallons to 170,000 gallons. Total fuel would increase from 30,000 gallons to 45,000 gallons, while total asphalt would rise from 50,000 to 125,000 gallons. In order to house these materials the company would build two new silos, bringing their total to six, and four new tanks that will be less than 45 feet tall. The tanks would hold roughly 30,000 gallons of liquid. A panel of four employees from Aggregate, including Joe Hanburry, spoke with the Planning Board regarding various issues of daily functioning, as well as specifics of the construction plan. One of the questions raised was in regards to a fine incurred by the company from the Department of Environmental Protection.
  • 9. Aggregate Industries was fined by the DEP, approximately $500,000 according to Hanburry, former operations manager at the Chelmsford plant and a current consultant with the company. The reason for the fine, he said, was over-con- sumption of oil in 2005 and not because of any action that caused harm to the immediate environment. He also said that this over-consumption was self-reported to the DEP by Aggregate. -------------------------------------------------------------------- Aggregate seeking to upgrade Chelmsford plant By Rita Savard, rsavard@lowellsun.com Article Last Updated: 06/03/2008 06:41:49 AM EDT CHELMSFORD -- Two months after reaching a pollution settlement with the state, construction-material supplier Aggre- gate Industries is seeking to upgrade its Chelmsford plant. But residents fear that the company's plan to add more storage tanks at the Oak Street site could pose an environmental hazard. Representatives for Aggregate stood before selectmen last night, seeking a license to increase their storage tanks from five to seven. Some of the tanks hold hot mix for making asphalt, others hold heating fuel. All of the existing horizontal tanks will be replaced with vertical storage units that use less energy and have more insu- lation, said Tim Jones, an environmental permitting specialist for Aggregate. quot;It's cleaner and more efficient,quot; Jones said. Some neighbors don't see it that way, worrying that more tanks could mean a massive increase in production. quot;I don't know why you would triple storage without increasing production,quot; said Christine McNamara of High Street. But Joe Hanbury, a project manager for Aggregate, said there is a state regulation on emissions and the company cannot exceed the safety limits enforced by the Department of Environmental Protection. Hanbury said the plant burned about 500,000 tons of product last year, not even close to some other companies that emit more than a million tons per year, he added. Resident Linda Fall of Littleton Road pleaded with selectmen to consider the impact the plant will have on air quality. quot;We can't compromise the health of the people who live there,quot; Fall said. quot;Everywhere the wind blows, we'll be breath- ing in what the facility is burning up in smoke.quot; ------------------------------------------------------------- Aggregate's plan to grow By David Golann/Correspondent Fri Jun 06, 2008, 12:33 PM EDT From Chelmsford Independent Chelmsford - Aggregate Industries presented its case to the Board of Selectmen on Monday, seeking approval to expand the Little- ton Road asphalt facility’s storage tanks. Representatives from Aggregate argued that the larger facility was a necessary response to the commonwealth’s changing asphalt needs. “What we have is outdated. It is 25 years old. This is new and state of the art and will be much safer than what we have now,” said Joe Hanbury, a project manager for Aggregate. “There will be fewer trucks in the yard waiting and it won't in- crease our capacity.” Hanbury argued that the proposed tanks would be cleaner, due to thicker walls, better filtration, higher recycling capac- ity, and the more ecologically sound asphalt mixes they would contain. A representative from the Chelmsford Fire De- partment, which plays a large role in monitoring and approving aboveground storage facilities, agreed with many of their assessments. The facility can currently hold 50,000 gallons of liquid asphalt in three tanks, and has three tanks for other oils. The proposed facility could hold 120,000 gallons of liquid asphalt in four tanks, and would include larger tanks for other liq- uids.
  • 10. “Each time I change my oil I am told to wear rubber gloves because the stuff is so dangerous and that is what they are burning,” said one resident. “There is one big word that scares me and it is cancer. Lets get the Department of Environ- mental Protection involved and lets understand what they are doing.” Aggregate representative Tim Jones argued that the company had been duly punished for its violations and is now monitored carefully by the proper authorities. Despite Selectman Claire Jeannotte’s questions, Jones refused to disclose whether the staffing at the Littleton Road fa- cility had changed since the violation, causing a groan of disbelief to erupt from the audience. Several residents were suspicious of Aggregate’s claims that they would not use the expanded facilities to increase production. Some argued that increased capacity would lead to more loud trucks rolling over potholes during the night, when the facility continues to operate. “My concern is not that they develop the new tanks because I really believe the new tanks would be safer,” said one resident. “But with all the flavors of asphalt that aggregate is proposing it is hard to believe that there is not going to be more traffic.” -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Residents are concerned about adding tanks to Chelmsford plant By Rita Savard, rsavard@lowellsun.com Article Last Updated: 06/17/2008 06:41:38 AM EDT CHELMSFORD -- From truck traffic at 4 a.m. to the stench of sulfur hanging over their homes, concerned residents pleaded with selectmen to think twice before granting Aggregate Industries a license to increase its storage of haz- ardous materials. But residents fear that more storage capacity will boost production at the Chelmsford plant, which was slapped with a hefty fine by the Department of Environmental Protection in 2005 for exceeding the state's safety limits on emissions. Some questioned if Aggregate could ever be trusted again. quot;You broke the law,quot; said resident Jim Pinder. quot;And we have no indication that you didn't do again. ... I don't appreciate you burning all this trash oil.quot; Selectman Bill Dalton said it would raise his comfort level if the company provided the town with an agreement in writ- ing stating that Aggregate Industries, if granted a license to increase its storage capacity, will not seek the means to in- crease productivity at the plant. ---------------------------------------------------------- Residents raise health worries over Aggregate By David Golann/Correspondent Chelmsford Independent Thu Jun 19, 2008, 03:15 PM EDT Chelmsford - Many people have a loved one affected by cancer. For those who live near a smokestack, it is easy to draw conclu- sions. “I am closer to it than just about anyone,” said Jean Rowe, who lives in the mobile home park across from the Aggre- gate Industries asphalt plant on Littleton Road. “I lost my husband two years ago and I am recovering. He and I were both healthy when we came here just 8 years ago.” Rowe was one of several citizens to raise the specter of cancer and other health problems at the selectmen’s latest public hearing on the Aggregate facility. The gathering grew contentious as emotional residents lined up behind the podium to share grievances and accusations. Some citizens cite the settlement Aggregate reached with the state after burning too much waste-oil derived spec oil at its Chelmsford facility a few years ago. Many neighbors and abutters focused more on their own personal experiences with smog and disease. “Since I have come here I have heard of more people who have passed with cancer than you could shake a stick at,” said Rowe, who lives in the part of the park closest to the facility. “On my end of the street there have been four deaths and three others that are survivors.”
  • 11. Her neighbor Millie Johnson has similar feelings but could not attend the meeting. “I am on oxygen so I don't get out much. My condition they call CLPD. It is a lung disease and coronary blockage,” said Johnson “I have only been here seven years. I had a nephew come and live with me and within two years he died of pancreatic cancer. That was last July.” Johnson has also seen several neighbors succumb to different forms of the disease. “My neighbor next door has been battling bone cancer for many years. My other neighbor lost his voice to cancer,” said Johnson. “It happens all around me. I can't say for sure that it has anything to do with the plant across the street.” According to Town Manager Paul Cohen and Board of Selectmen Chairman Philip Eliopoulos, Chelmsford will likely tie any approval of Aggregate’s expanded tank system to specific limits on asphalt production. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Aggregate plan still concerns residents By Kevin Zimmerman/Staff Writer Tue Jul 01, 2008 CHELMSFORD - The Board of Selectmen continued its public hearing on Aggregate Industries’ request to increase its fuel storage ca- pacity at its Littleton Road site and heard again from residents who are determined to stop the plan. “We are custodians of the town,” said Littleton Road resident Tom Fall. “Are we going to leave a town that’s great for making asphalt or a town for raising families?” As they have done at the previous sessions, residents urged the selectmen to consider what impact the plant’s changes could have on the health of its neighbors. Although they cannot prove a link between the smoke that emits from the plant’s chimneys and the number of people with cancer who live in the mobile home park across the street, residents believe expanded fuel capacity means more production and more pollutants in the air. Officials from Aggregate stressed they would agree to a volunteer production cap and limit its capacity to what is cur- rently allowed. Any changes to production output would require Aggregate to return to the selectmen for approval. Board of Selectmen Chairman Phil Eliopoulos told the packed meeting room board members will be meeting with offi- cials from the Department of Environmental Protection to review the documents Aggregate has provided in its applica- tion. “Our goal is to use the application on the tanks to make things better,” said Eliopoulos. The board could also require the company to add a masking agent to its product to eliminate the odors, said Eliopou- los. Some residents didn’t believe cosmetic changes addressed their issues. “We’ll be smelling roses but are we still going to get cancer? Is it still going to leave black (soot) on our windows?” asked Littleton Road resident John Wojcik. “I want something safe in the air.”
  • 12. -------------------------------------------------------------- Aggregate hearing rescheduled By Kevin Zimmerman/Staff Writer Sun Jul 20, 2008 CHELMSFORD - Originally slated for tomorrow night's Board of Selectmen's meeting, the continuation of Aggregate's expansion plan hearing will take place on Aug. 11. The selectmen asked Aggregate to postpone the continuation in order for them to address abutters' concerns. Selectman Phil Eliopoulos and a representative from Town Counsel recently met with regulatory officials from the De- partment of Environmental Protection, said Town Manager Paul Cohen. quot;They want to meet with some of the air quality people there,quot; said Cohen. Aggregate wants to increase its fuel storage capacity at its Oak Street facility and needs approval from the selectmen. After Littleton Road residents expressed concerns over perceived health risks between smoke from the facility, the se- lectmen agreed to consult with DEP before rendering its decision. quot;In all fairness, the selectmen are doing due diligence,quot; said Cohen.