Incinerator will add to air pollution

Frederick News Post
Ellis Burruss
The letter in Sunday’s Frederick News-Post from Maryland Secretary of the Environment Robert Summers clearly describes the difficulty of cleaning the air we breathe while it’s being polluted from neighboring states. As the Sept. 18 editorial pointed out: Air pollution in Frederick County is at a dangerous level and can affect the health of all county residents. However, while Mr. Summers’ concern for stopping pollution from other states is very important, it should be noted that his agency is currently reviewing permit applications for a trash incinerator that will add a significant amount of pollution to our already burdened local atmosphere. The incinerator, which is planned to be built right off English Muffin Way in south Frederick, will burn 1,500 tons a day of mixed trash, old tires and sewage sludge. Despite “state of the art” pollution controls, incinerators are major sources of highly toxic pollutants and carcinogens, chemicals that form ozone (smog), and fine particles that are so small that they can reach the deepest parts of the lung and cross directly into the bloodstream. Because our local air is already so polluted, the hundreds of tons of nitrogen oxides emitted from the incinerator will require us (the taxpayers) to purchase pollution offsets from other communities. We will still breathe the pollution and we’ll have to pay for the privilege!

Citizens Protest Proposed Incinerator

Kevin McManus
Chanting "Hey, hey; ho, ho; incinerator has got to go," and unfurling a banner which read "Draw The Line; No Incinerator; Fight CLimate Change," a group of citizens gathered at the McKinney Industrial Park Saturday morning to protest the proposed waste to energy facility for Frederick County. The demonstration was local, but it was driven by national organizations such as, and the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, which are concerned about the impact incineration has on climate change. "It's the most environmentally irresponsible approach we could take," says former county commissioner Kai Hagen, who was at the rally. "There are public health concerns and it's an incredibly risky financial endeavor that was never really justified. The economic model used to justify it was indefensible then, and it's even more indefensible now." Hagen was on the Board of County Commissioners when approval was given to go ahead with the project. He voted in opposition.

Brunswick eyes sustainable efficiencies

City committee to find ways to encourage resource conservation
Frederick News Post
Patti S. Borda
The asphalt parking lot at City Hall has sprouted islands of flower beds and trees. Not only does the flora beautify the utilitarian backside of buildings in the first block of West Potomac Street, it stands to earn the city some credit with the state. Brunswick has just started working toward certification in the Sustainable Maryland Certified program, and although the garden was not part of the new effort, it could count. The City Council approved setting up an ad hoc committee called the Green Team to get started. About 10 interested residents attended the first meeting, and others said they want to participate, Mayor Karin Tome said.

A Bitter Pill to Swallow: Public blasts commissioners over impending sale of Citizens and Montevue

Frederick Gorilla
Emily Holland
Frederick County Board of Commissioners President Blaine Young and the rest of the board members processed through a crowd that was not only unsettled, but irate. People shouted, noisemakers and cowbells rattled and clanked, and a gentleman with a megaphone spearheaded the cries. Public hearings rarely become this heated, especially in a smaller town environment, but yesterday’s event at Frederick Community College’s Jack B. Kussmaul Auditorium brought a spectrum of deep-seated emotions to the forefront. At issue was the impending sale (privatization) of the Citizens Care and Rehabilitation Center (CCRC) and Montevue Assisted Living (MAL), both of which are currently subsidized by the county. The vast majority of the crowd had gathered to oppose this motion, rallying with indignant gusto. CCRC and MAL are the latest manifestations of the Rosemont Avenue property’s covenant “for the Benefit of the Poor of Frederick County and no other use, intent, purpose whatsoever forever” (as stated in the 1828 deed). CCRC was constructed in 1975, and MAL followed in 1987. New, state-of-the-art facilities were completed in 2012, but in November of that year, the Board of Commissioners announced they were looking into selling the facility to a private management firm. These plans became less speculative and more concrete with the dawn of 2013, and by June, a purchaser had been identified, Aurora Health Management, LLC

MDE should deny WTE permits

Frederick News Post
Ellis Burruss
If the MDE grants the permits to build the proposed “waste-to-energy” trash incinerator in Frederick County it will result in the exposure of Frederick County citizens to a number of “hazardous air pollutants.” The permit application appendix table B-2 section B lists 111 tons of organic compounds, inorganic compounds, and metals that will be released into the atmosphere during each year of operation. This exposure risk raises questions: Will the MDE guarantee that no Frederick County resident will be adversely affected by the release of these hazardous air pollutants from the incinerator?

WTE and electricity pricing

Ellis Burruss
One of the most basic rules of business is to buy products at wholesale for less than they are to be sold at retail. That's how profits are made. However, the people who are proposing to build a so-called "waste-to-energy" (WTE) incinerator in Frederick are basing their financial projections on selling electricity in 2015 at 8.3 cents per kilowatt-hour (kwh). They are planning on a wholesale price that is much higher than the current retail price. Look at your most recent electric bill from Potomac Edison and you'll see that the retail price of electricity as of June 1 is 6.02 cents per kwh. The price will drop to 5.9 cents per kwh in October. Yes, electricity prices are going down.

Public decries waste-to-energy project

Frederick News Post
Patti S. Borda
Potential pollution, traffic and expense associated with a waste-to-energy incinerator drew a group of residents to a meeting Thursday with Wheelabrator Technologies Inc. and the Maryland Department of the Environment. Members of the public who attended the meeting were not convinced that the county plant will receive enough trash to make it profitable, and if it does they said too much material that could be recycled will be incinerated instead.

Candidates clash at final forum

Frederick News Post
Meg Tully
In a last-minute push for votes, candidates at a Tuesday night Frederick County commissioner forum went into attack mode on some of the biggest issues facing the county. Candidates disagreed on the effects of land use policy, how much the budget has been cut and whether the next board should reverse a decision to build a regional waste-to-energy trash incinerator. Ten candidates are running for five slots on the commissioners board.

Commissioners expected to vote on incinerator today

Frederick News Post
Meg Tully
A trash debate that has dominated county discussions for years could be resolved today. Commissioner Charles Jenkins is expected to make several motions that will allow the county to go ahead with a proposed incinerator, also known as waste-to-energy because it could generate electricity. Commissioners John L. Thompson Jr. and David Gray are expected to be in support. "What should have been done 20 years ago, will hopefully be set in motion tomorrow," Jenkins said by phone Monday.