Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Taking another look at ReVenture

Posted By on Wed, Sep 22, 2010 at 10:26 AM

Susan Stabley, of the Charlotte Business Journal, is reporting that Mecklenburg County has called for a 20-member panel to take another look at ReVenture Park, the planned eco-industrial park that will take over a Super Fund (or extremely polluted) site on the western edge of the county. Here's a snippet:

Keep an eye on this link for more details on how to apply for a seat on the ReVenture council. The county's waste management board will meet Oct. 4 to review candidates.

Residency is not required to join, says Bruce Gledhill, the county’s solid-waste management director. Citizens and business representatives from Mount Holly, the Gaston County city located on the other side of the Catawba River from the ReVenture site, would be able to participate.

The ReVenture project is considered a solid-waste issue because its anchor is a waste-to-energy plant that could generate 30 megawatts to more than 80 megawatts depending on the final design of facility. The developer is Forsite Development led by Tom McKittrick. Its primary equity partner and part owner is The Springs Co. of Lancaster.

Mecklenburg County has been mulling a deal that would pay ReVenture Park up to $10 million annually to take its residential trash and burn it to produce electricity. The proposed contract would end Mecklenburg’s use of the Speedway Landfill operated by Republic Services Inc.

Read the rest of the article here.

The Sierra Club's Bill Gupton told me, in an e-mail, "Meeting went very well. The Commission is fired up to address this in a fair and balanced way." His organization is opposed to the biomass incineration plant, a major component of ReVenture Park, citing concerns about the area's air quality issues. He also sent me a letter, from Dr. R. W. (Chip) Watkins, president of the N.C. Academy of Family Physicians. Here's his take on biomass incineration:

One of the reasons for encouraging renewable energy through legislation like the North Carolina Clean Smokestack law was to provide cleaner air for citizens. However, there is concern that burning of poultry litter may result in similar or greater emissions of nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, and carbon dioxide to coal burning plants (8). The NCAFP requests that the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources strongly consider the potentially harmful consequences to the health and wellbeing of North Carolina citizens when contemplating the permitting of biomass burning plants in the state.

Read Dr. Watkins entire letter here.

"The Daily Energy Report" weighs in on biomass, and the potential for pollution.

Rhiannon "Rhi" Bowman is an independent journalist who contributes snarky commentary on Creative Loafing's CLog blog four days a week in addition to writing for several other local media organizations. She will be a guest on WFAE's "Charlotte Talks" program Sept. 23rd where she'll discuss coal ash. She'll also be live-Tweeting from TEDxCharlotte Sept. 24. Additionally, she's on the steering committee for the Greater Charlotte Society of Professional Journalists. To learn more, click the links or follow Rhi on Twitter.

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