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E-M:/ Sewage Sludge Waste Power Plant for Detroit Delray Section

Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>

Today's Detroit News contains an article about the Detroit City
Council approving a contract for construction of a sewage sludge waste
electric power plant/waste incinerator at the old Detroit Coke site
in the Delray section of Southwest Detroit.    The site is directly
on the Detroit River and across from western Windsor, Ontario.

The $100 million plant would replace sewage sludge incinerators at
the Detroit Wastewater Treatment Plant.


According to MDEQ-Air Quality Division's web site, the company
applied for a permit In August and the permit has been assigned to
Randy Telesz,  an AQD permit engineer.    Telesz is regarded by
those who know him both inside and outside of AQD as a very knowledgeable,
thorough and conscientious public servant who often gets assigned
many of the "hard cases."

Minergy is closely related to WEPCO....the Wisconsin Electric Power Company,
which has built similar facilities for burning pulp mill sludge in 
Wisconsin.  These
facilities have also been controversial and at least one site has drawn 

Significant issues include potential mercury and other toxic metal emissions,
products of incomplete combustion,
odors, chlorinated dibenzo-dioxins/furans,  multi-pathway risk assessment 
and limitation
related to airborne toxicant transport and deposition, trans-boundary air 
pollution, environmental
justice considerations, whether the facility will be subject to federal 
prevention of
significant deterioration requirements and whether state-of the art emission
controls will be required.

Current federal requirements for mercury emissions from sludge burning 
are extremely weak and allow high mercury emissions from such operations.

Some summary information shared by the company with citizens so far indicates
that the Minergy is attempting to withhold information based on a trade
secret confidentiality claim about the process it will use in the sewage sludge
power plant.

Minergy has been attempting to portray the plant as a aggregate production
plant in an attempt to revise the image of a sewage sludge-powered electric
utility plant/waste incinerator that the plant actually is.....

It will be interesting to determine whether the plant will present any 
over the existing Detroit Water and Sewer Department sludge incinerators,
which have a history of causing odor and visible emission problems in the
Delray community.   Acrid, irritating odors from that facility are probably a
result of aldehyde compound emissions.

Alex J. Sagady & Associates        Email:  ajs@sagady.com

Environmental Enforcement, Permits/Technical Review, Public Policy and
Communications on Air, Water and Waste Issues
and Community Environmental Protection

PO Box 39  East Lansing, MI  48826-0039
(517) 332-6971 (voice); (517) 332-8987 (fax)

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