[Date Prev][Date Next][Date Index]

E-M:/ Fw: E-M posting

Enviro-Mich message from <bfreese@verizon.net>

In the latest posting by the MDEQ for the Air Quality Permit Division they have a proposed permit for the Monroe Edison power plant, the number one emitter of mercury in the state, and the Alpena Lafarge cement plant, the number two emitter of mercury in the state. The Monroe Edison permit will reducing CO. One provision is that they use BACT(Best Achievable Control Technology).. BACT was supposed to be part of the permit for Lafarge. It is nowhere in the new permit. Monroe might reduce its mercury emission with their permit and Lafarge is being allowed to increase their mercury emissions from 390 to 567 pounds of mercury per year. The 567 is the amount in the proposed settlement or proposed sellout of the people of northeast Michigan. For those of you who do not know about Lafarge they were the largest hazardous waste burning facility in the state until 2002. They were permitted to burn 17 million gallons of hazardous waste per year and were one of the top polluters in the state. It is something we have had to live with since 1986 when Lafarge took over National Gypsum in a leveraged buyout..

The worse case scenario for mercury in the original 15-05 permit was 570 pounds with 30% remaining in the cement or waste dust. Stack tests in January revealed that Lafarge has been emitting over 581 pounds per year. They have been emitting that amount ever since the Canadian power plants installed the stack scrubbers. They removed up to 95% of contaminants and put it in the 450,000 tons of ash that Lafarge is permitted to use each year. An analysis of the ash shows that over 50% of the mercury Lafarge emits is because of the mercury in the Canadian fly ash.

Lafarge could reduce the mercury they emit by over 50% if they stopped using the ash. In 1992 when they and their Paulding Ohio plant started using the ash they were paid $17.00 per ton delivered to take that ash. This was published in their own newsletter. You can see why they do not want to stop using the ash. 17 x 450,000 is a lot of money. The contract is to expire in 2008. The fact that the composition of the ash changed when scrubbers were installed was a change in materials and new permits should have been applied for. They would not receive a permit to use it today.

If there is anyone out there concerned about this sellout by the MDEQ to Lafarge please let the MDEQ and the governor know about your feelings. Northeast Michigan has Lafarge and two tire burning facilities and we have more than enough pollution already. We have a French owned facility that has wrapped the American flag around itself and says it has to pollute to remain competitive. From who? They are the largest cement plant in the United States.

Neil Carman, Director of The Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club describes our situation this way. Huge mercury emissions... only ONE GRAM OF Mercury is all it takes to contaminate a 20 acre lake with enough methyl mercury to warrant a fish consumption advisories. The EPA already has done that for our waters.

One pound of mercury equals 453.6 grams of mercury.

Multiply 567 pounds x 453.6 grams/pound = ? grams per year from Lafarge

It's a huge amount of grams!

Bill Freese, Director
Huron Environmental Activist League
PO Box 302
Alpena, MI 49707


========================================== Alex J. Sagady & Associates http://www.sagady.com

Environmental Enforcement, Permit/Technical Review, Public Policy,
Expert Witness Review and Litigation Investigation on Air, Water and
Waste/Community Environmental and Resource Protection
Prospectus at:  http://www.sagady.com/sagady.pdf

657 Spartan Ave,  East Lansing, MI  48823
(517) 332-6971; (517) 332-8987 (fax); ajs@sagady.com

ENVIRO-MICH:  Internet List and Forum for Michigan Environmental
and Conservation Issues and Michigan-based Citizen Action.   Archives at

Postings to:  enviro-mich@great-lakes.net      For info, send email to
majordomo@great-lakes.net  with a one-line message body of  "info enviro-mich"