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Re: SG-W:/ dexter power plant



To add to the points made by Jeff and Mike:  Peaker plants are particularly
problematic when it comes to ozone formation.  Peak power demand frequently
occurs during episodes of hot, humid weather with low to moderate winds --
exactly the weather episodes that produce high levels of ozone.  As the
nitrogen oxides emitted by peaker plants drift downwind, it reacts to
produce higher ozone levels.

The shame of it all is that if we could replace some of our dirty old
coal-fired plants with newer plants, it would reduce pollution (except for
NOx, for which the limiting factor is the regulatory standard and not the
type of fuel).

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jeff Surfus" <jeffsurfus@msn.com>
To: <smartgrowth-washtenaw@great-lakes.net>; "mike garfield"
<michaelg@ecocenter.org>
Sent: Friday, September 08, 2000 8:49 PM
Subject: Re: SG-W:/ dexter power plant


> I agree with Mike's points about Panda as a source of air pollution.
> Another thing should also be kept in mind for anyone within a few miles of
> this plant -- there will be significant noise pollution.  The four turbine
> engines used to generate electricity are essentially the same engines that
> are used in jet airplanes.  We all know the tremendous noise that can be
> made by four jet engines running at full throttle.
>
> Their apparent generosity in purchasing such a large parcel and leaving
most
> of it as a natural area, or park, or preserved area, or whatever else they
> want to call it, is nothing but a sham.  They need a buffer zone due to
the
> noise being generated.  And whatever buffer they purchase, it won't be
> enough.  The land will not be usable for anyone who wants to maintain
their
> hearing.  Wildlife will not be found.
>
> Mike's also right about the proliferation of these plants in the Midwest.
> They are cropping up everywhere in Illinois and Indiana, built by private
> "energy" companies looking for a big profit margin (Panda is a private
> company owned by a family in Texas).  Peaker plants have gotten so
prevalent
> in Illinois that the governor has commissioned a special investigation by
> the state's Pollution Control Board to look into the environmental aspects
> of these plants.  Andrea last week pointed out the website where the
results
> of this investigation and associated hearings are being published.  It's
> pretty interesting reading.  The website again is:
> http://www.ipcb.state.il.us/news/news.htm#Peaker
>
> Another website to check out is for an organization in Libertyville, IL
that
> is fighting a peaker.  It has some good info.  The web address is:
> http://www.libertyvillepowerplant.org/index.html
>
> Jennie is right that there are a LOT of NIMBY types around Dexter (and
> elsewhere) who have their piece of the country and don't care about
anything
> else but keeping everyone else away from their piece.  They give smart
> growth a bad name, but we need them for these individual crises if we want
> things to turn out our way.  They probably were the majority at the
meeting,
> but the bigger question remains, as Mike pointed out, is it really
necessary
> to put in a power plant in rural Dexter Township which will be the biggest
> source of air pollution in the entire county?
>
> Jeff Surfus
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "mike garfield" <michaelg@ecocenter.org>
> To: <smartgrowth-washtenaw@great-lakes.net>
> Sent: Friday, September 08, 2000 6:13 PM
> Subject: SG-W:/ dexter power plant
>
>
> > I thought I'd offer a little more information about the Wednesday
meeting
> > in Dexter Township about Panda Energy's proposal to build a large power
> > plant there.  The Ann Arbor News ran a story yesterday which mentioned
the
> > large number of people who turned out to oppose the proposal, but mostly
> > reported on the company's claims to be environment-friendly.
> >
> > Over 300 people attended the meeting, and virtually all were opposed to
> the
> > facility.  Township residents have already formed an organization -- No
> > Panda Energy (NOPE) -- and set up a website (http://www.usol.com/~nope).
> > They came with signs and complaints, and many had done a fair bit of
> > research on the company and on similar facilities.  They have also
> > identified a second website,  http://www.penweb.org/palm/position.html,
> > with detailed information another proposed Panda facility in
Pennsylvania.
> >
> > The Ecology Center has one major objection to the proposal.  The plant
> > would be a significant source of air pollution.  A natural gas-fired
power
> > plant will inevitably emit a large amount of nitrogen oxides (NOx),
which
> > react with hydrocarbons in the presence of sunlight to produce smog.
Smog
> > causes lung damage, and aggravates breathing problems for people
suffering
> > from asthma and other respiratory problems.  The plant is directly
upwind
> > from the major population centers of Washtenaw County, and the Ypsilanti
> > area, in particular, suffers from high levels of asthma.  NOx emissions
> > also contribute to the formation of acid rain, and to nutrient overload
in
> > aquatic systems.  The facility would also emit other toxic pollutants,
and
> > would probably be the largest source of high-priority "criteria"
emissions
> > in the county.
> >
> > The company argues that a natural gas-fired plant is cleaner than an
old,
> > coal-fired plant.  They are absolutely correct about that.  But they go
> > further, and argue that their facility will help retire a coal plant
> > earlier than it would otherwise close.  That is absolutely false.
> > Proposals for new "merchant power plants," like this one, are being made
> > all over the Midwest these days.  They're being built in response to  a
> new
> > deregulated market, a growing economy, and a foolish rejection of
sensible
> > energy conservation measures by virtually every major policy-making body
> in
> > the region.  (Michigan's deregulation has utterly ignored conservation
> > measures.)  What it all means is that the big old coal plants will stay
> > open, and the landscape will soon be dotted with dozens and dozens of
new
> > merchant plants, everywhere you look.
> >
> > Panda goes further yet to mislead people about their environmental
> impacts.
> > They claim to be following Sierra Club guidelines about the siting of
this
> > plant.  Well, I asked David Wright, the chair of the Sierra Club's
Energy
> > Committee to review their claim.  He says that Panda is following a
couple
> > of the Club's guidelines, but they're also violating several, especially
> > the following:
> >
> > "The siting of large, energy-related facilities should not proceed
unless
> a
> > definitive need for them has been demonstrated, through open public
> > disclosure and certification of need, which cannot be met through
> > conservation and smaller-scale alternatives."
> >
> > And this, I think, is really the bottom line.  Environmentalists and
> > communities shouldn't have to accept major new sources of smog and air
> > pollution until conservation strategies and sustainable energy sources
> have
> > been fully implemented.  And so far, Michigan hasn't so much tried, much
> > less implemented.
> >
> > Mike Garfield
> >
> >
> > __________________
> > Mike Garfield
> > Ecology Center
> > 117 N. Division
> > Ann Arbor, MI  48104
> > (734) 761-3186 ext. 104
> > (734) 663-2414 (fax)
> > michaelg@ecocenter.org
> > www.ecocenter.org
> >
> >
> >
> >
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