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E-M:/ Here we go again with tire burning

Enviro-Mich message from HAMILTREEF@aol.com

Here we go again.  We couldn't even get one full day of rest. 

March 29, 2001
Grayling firm makes bid for tire-burning plant 
- Officials confident their plan will pass where Cadillac one was denied 
Record-Eagle staff writer
      GRAYLING - Officials at a power plant here are optimistic that their 
bid to burn scrap tires will be approved even though a similar request from a 
Cadillac company was rejected Monday.

      Grayling Generating Station officials made their presentation to 
Crawford County on the same day the state Department of Environmental Quality 
rejected a tire-burning request from Cadillac Renewable Energy.

      Grayling Generating Station is owned by CMS Energy Generation, Decker 
Energy of Winter Park, Fla. and Primary Power International of Ithaca.

      Phil Lewis, Grayling Generating Station plant manager, said the plant 
had done test burns with tires the last two years.

      The company has applied for a permit to burn 45 tons of tires a day up 
to a maximum of 16,425 tons a year. Lewis said the plant is a power "dispatch 
center," which is used only when Consumers needs more electricity on its 
power grid. He said the plant would likely not burn the maximum number of 
tires in a year.

      "We're a dispatch load so we don't run full load all the time and I 
wouldn't full load with (tire-derived fuel) either," he said.

      The tires would account for 4 percent of the plant's fuel consumption. 
Most of its fuel is waste wood from AJD Forest Products, Weyerhaeuser and 
other small area wood mills.

      Burning tires at the plant would increase its sulfur dioxide emissions 
to 39 tons per year, Lewis said. Sulfur dioxide, when combined with moisture, 
can cause acid rain.
      By comparison, Cadillac Renewable Energy's permit called for a release 
of 245 tons on sulfur dioxide per year.
      Lewis learned late Wednesday that Cadillac Renewable Energy's permit 
was turned down unless it reduced the number of tires it would burn or 
installed scrubbers that reduce the amount of emissions.
      Lewis said it would cost $6 million to $10 million to install scrubbers 
at the Grayling plant, but said the company's emissions would be well below 
federal and state standards without them.

      "We've done stack testing a couple different times and our emission 
rates are lower than theirs because of different boiler characteristics," he 
said. "We're still optimistic about our permit, but I can't comment on what 
happened to them because I didn't have anything to do with their permit 

      Lewis told the Crawford board the company had recently been recognized 
by the state as a Clean Corporate Citizen, which he said is a new 
environmental stewardship program to acknowledge environmental performance 
and improvements in environmental performance systems.

      Crawford County resident William Moore, who lives on Lake Margrethe, 
said he was concerned at the prospect of having the power plants in Grayling, 
Hillman, Lincoln, McBain and Cadillac burning tires because of the potential 
impact on lakes and streams in northern Lower Michigan.

      "I think the additional sulfur dioxide emissions are going to result in 
acid raid and will eventually contaminate our lakes and rivers," he said.

      Grayling Generating officials said the five plants combined would not 
exceed Environmental Protection Agency standards for sulfur dioxide.

      Dennis Drake, chief of the DEQ's air quality division, said the 
Grayling Generating Plant's tire-burning permit is still undergoing technical 
      Drake said denial of the Cadillac Renewable Energy permit may have an 
impact on the Grayling permit, but a final decision would not be made until 
after a public comment period, which has not yet been scheduled.

      "Every permit request is based on its own merits, but if this involves 
the burning of a large amount of tires, it will be looked at the same way," 
Drake said.

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