Solid waste gasification gets a cold shoulder in Cleveland

More than 200 attend EPA permit hearing

CLEVELAND - More than 200 people attended an EPA hearing Monday night about Cleveland's proposed solid waste gasification plant. And many, if not most, oppose the idea.

"I think Cleveland is a great place and I don't want to see it polluted with mercury and dioxin gas," Jeffrey Steinwachs said at a protest before the hearing.

Cleveland Public Power plans to install the facility which would convert garbage into power on Ridge Road.  In explaining the process for NewsChannel 5, Cleveland Public Power Commissioner Ivan Henderson said,  "It takes the municipal solid wastes, the facility that we're talking about will convert that into a fuel pellet after taking out the recyclable materials and then that fuel pellet will be gasified and turned from a solid into a gas.  And then we could take that syngas that's produced and produce electricity."

Henderson stressed that the facility would not be an incinerator and that there will be low levels of mercury emission into the air. "The sorting process, which will include a state-of-the-art Material Recovery Facility, will remove harmful products that would result in these emissions," he said in a press release.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich promised to try to hold a full Congressional  hearing here in Cleveland. "You're not gonna shove this down their throats," he said.

The public comment period has been extended to January 23rd.  Citizens may submit comments in writing to: Cleveland Division of Air Quality, Attn: David Hearne, 75 Erieview Plaza, Suite 200, Cleveland, OH, 44114.

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