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E-M:/ Diesel Power Plant in Newaygo



I have just returned from a Garfield Township zoning meeting where Alpena Power has requested special use to build a plant consisting of 10 deisel generators on land across M-82 from a Consumers Energy transfer station.
 
Consumers Energy requested proposals for this plant to provide additional capacity during expected shortages/outages from their existing system.  Alpena Power has four such facilities already in Michigan, one built in 1999 and three in 2000.  These plants have been called upon for only a handful of hours of generation since they went on line.  
 
Here are some other facts I gleaned from the hearing:
50' - 60' stack
No scrubbers
Minimal noise insulation
40,000 gallon fuel tank
Maximum operation of 585 hours per year (24 days)
Emissions:  nitrogen oxides, sulfer dioxide, and particulates
 
The plant would be located in a rural area, across the road from an already noisey motocross facility.  It is about a mile north and west of the Muskegon River and the town of Newaygo.
 
The zoning board has tabled further action until they are presented with more information about air quality by a representative of the DEQ at July's meeting.  Concerns aired at tonight's meeting centered around noise (90+db next to the facility) and air pollution.  Although the plant complied with much of the board's special use criteria, it was in violation of a few items related to pollution.  General consensus on the board was that the company could do a MUCH better job of building a "friendlier" facility
 
Does anybody have any information about the other Alpena Power diesel plants? 
What pollution can my community expect from this type of facility, given its limited running times? 
Does it pose a significant threat to the Muskegon watershed, THE economic attraction for the Newaygo community, recently pledged millions of dollars for clean-up and conservation? 
Is this the "nose of the camel" in the age of energy deregulation (i.e., in seven years, would the contract with Consumers Energy ask to extend the maximum hours of operation)? 
Was there opportunity for public input on the permit that the DEQ has ALREADY issued Alpena power for this plant? 
Are there other regulatory loopholes that would allow Alpena Power, with the weight of Consumers, to proceed without the township's approval?
 
Mark Petz