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  1. #1
    Pisgah-Pale-Alien
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    If you love Pisgah and Dupont...

    What a cheesy way to get you to open a thread.

    But the truth is...our riding areas, as we know them, may be in serious jeopardy due to the biomass MSW (municipal solid waste) incinerator being planned for Penrose, right smack between Pisgah and Dupont on the French Broad River.

    There is a grass roots orginization (formed in the last two weeks) to oppose this plant, called 'People for Clean Mountains'. The group consists of the concerned citizens and businesses of Transyvania and Henderson County.

    PCM is organizing a peaceful protest walk tomorrow evening (Monday the 22nd) starting at 6:00PM on the courthouse steps. We will walk to the county commissioners meeting at the public library that starts at 7:00. The biomass plant proposel is not on their agenda for tommorrow night but our silent presence can not be ignored or dismissed. We will have signs to carry and ask that everyone wear light blue in a show of solidarity.

    So if you love Brevard, our trails and our way of life here and don't wish to see Penrose turned into the trash burning ground zero for WNC, then please show up with big numbers from the mtnbiking community tomorrow night.

    In the end maybe we can not only stop this incinerator before it starts, but also show the county how outdoor recreation (is) the industry they've been waiting for. Its here and it's growing, thanks in large part to you!
    Last edited by FatTireGoose; 04-22-2013 at 05:01 AM.
    Pisgah Forest NC

  2. #2

  3. #3
    Pisgah-Pale-Alien
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    I saw over 100 riders at Brevard Brewing for the alley-cat race last month, how cool if that many turned out right up the street for tonight!
    Pisgah Forest NC

  4. #4
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    I won't be able to make it tonight, but will there be other meetings or protests? I would like to make my opposition known! This could be very bad news for the area in general, not just mountain bikers...

  5. #5
    Pisgah-Pale-Alien
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    Mondays turnout was awesome, over 200 strong. Thank you if you were among the group, we definitely got the county commissioners attention...WLOS too, if you saw the news that night.
    Pisgah Forest NC

  6. #6
    Pisgah-Pale-Alien
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    Here is the statement about the waste-to-energy plant being issued by the Executive Committee of the Pisgah Group of the Sierra Club, copied from their Facebook page:


    Summary of the situation, as of April 24, 2013:
    As most of you probably know, a waste-to-energy facility has been proposed for Transylvania County, to be located at the airport in Penrose just off of the old Hendersonville Highway. County officials have been talking with the investors, Renewable Developers, Penrose 1, LLC, for nearly two years as part of the county's effort to bring jobs to the county. The proposal is to use biomass, either scrap wood or some other woody material and/or municipal solid waste, (the garbage that goes to the county landfill) to power a 4 megawatt electricity generator. The waste, abut 100 tons of dry waste per day, would be passed through a separation facility to screen out metals and liquids and other undesirables, and then fed to a pyrolysis reactor which would heat the waste to high temperatures with little or no oxygen present to decompose it into a burnable gas and a mostly carbon ash. The gas would then be burned in an engine to turn an electricity generator. Investment would be on the order of $22 million, providing from 10 to 20 jobs perhaps. County officials were taken by surprise when, before discussions with the county were completed, the investors applied to the NC Public Utilities Commission on Feb. 28, 2013 for a "certificate of convenience and necessity" to generate electricity. On April 11 the county invited the public to attend presentations by the investors to learn about the project. There were two meetings, the first a smaller group, including Pisgah Group members Bill Thomas and Marshall McCallie, and the second a large public one in the library that same evening.
    Immediately many were opposed to the project, but we in Sierra Club chose to take some time to evaluate the proposal more completely.

    Here are our reactions to date:
    Initially we in the Pisgah Group of the Sierra Club thought that the waste-to-energy project proposed for our county might have some merit: jobs, increased tax base, and extension of the life of our county landfill. And all of this with the investors' claims of low impact on our county from pollution and any activity contrary to our county’s reputation as a place of green mountains and pristine streams and air, a place highly attractive to residents, tourists, recreationists, college students, and businesses that seek this sort of place.

    We have now had two meetings with the principal investors in this project. They have failed to present any data that would show their proposed pyrolysis/gasification process would be free of toxic emissions or that the so-called “biochar” solids output would be truly free of toxics like dioxins and heavy metals such as lead and cadmium. There is also no indication that the large municipal solid waste sorting and separation system would be free of noise, smell, and undesirable truck traffic. Worse, the actual waste stream to be fed to the sorting facility and pyrolyzer is still undefined, as the investors continue to seek contracts for the waste feed streams not only from Transylvania, but from surrounding counties, plus undefined sources of agricultural or wood wastes. Transylvania County alone would not supply enough waste for this plant. This means truck and/or train traffic into this area. From what we have been able to read, the pyrolysis process, especially with a variable composition waste feed, is little or no better than a direct incineration-to-heat/energy process in terms of fine particulates, mercury and dioxin emissions – and the investors have presented no information to contradict that opinion. Nor have they been able to point to any other facility operating successfully anywhere with a process like theirs. Nor have we or the county been able to find such a facility anywhere in the US. The county has repeatedly asked the investors for such information without result.

    They have admitted that a major financial driving force is the tax credit for renewable energy. No business plan has been presented. Why could they have not chosen a solar project? The thought that municipal solid waste is a “renewable” energy source is laughable, even if the tax law allows that definition. As our county has no zoning, this project can conceivably be built, whether it really will work or not, if permits for air and water quality can be obtained from DENR (Dept of Envir and Nat. Resources), and if the Utilities Commission grants them their certificate. We fear that this is a rich man’s game, where the initial investors will sell their investment for the tax credits and be out of here, not having to worry about whether the process works as claimed.

    In our opinion this project is not a forward-looking way to move into the future. It will still emit carbon dioxide and other unspecified chemicals. We would do better to promote solar and to adopt a zero-waste strategy like many towns and cities have done, where the waste stream going to the landfill is reduced by serious recycling efforts, and where we undertake lobbying efforts to place fees on packaging, and require manufacturers to take back appliances and cars when used up. We are already making small moves in this direction on tires, car batteries and electronics.

    While our county officials may not be able to stop this project, it can at least be hoped that no taxpayer money will be used for it. And we citizens must use our best efforts to ensure that the permitting process by DENR and the Utilities Commission are most scrupulously carried out. We should call on the county commissioners to disapprove the project and send such a resolution to the NC Public Utilities Commission, whose job it is to determine whether the facility is both "necessary and convenient".

    When presented with the choices of:

    1) maintaining our county as a pristine environment that thrives on its clean air, water and land to promote an economy based on outdoor recreation and ecotourism; or

    2) becoming the regional center for trash processing, using undisclosed and unproven technologies, the Executive Committee of the Pisgah Group of the North Carolina Sierra Club unanimously endorses the first choice.
    Pisgah Forest NC

  7. #7
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    I can't believe this plant is even being considered. Outdoor recreation is what draws people to WNC! The French Broad River Trail is open, too. This would pass right by the plant. Count me in if there are weekday protests!

  8. #8
    Pisgah-Pale-Alien
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    Quote Originally Posted by spirit4earth View Post
    Count me in if there are weekday protests!
    Absolutely and thank you for taking interest.
    Pisgah Forest NC

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