Tuesday is the night that Council reconsiders their support of the waste incinerator for Allanport Road in General Committee, as promised by Councillor Paone at the August Council meeting. There will be a number of people speaking to it including, of course, the proponent. The case for No Burn Niagara is presented in an 11-frame PowerPoint presentation, with plenty of pictures, starting on document page 9 of the General Committee Agend. And, just to make sure we get all the rosy picture, the proponents have included a 13-page document (mostly words), starting on document page 24 of the same document. If you want to read them all, and the CAO’s report, just click here .
Most of the proponent’s info paints, as you may expect, an extremely optimistic picture of the whole process. Take it all as you will, but I find myself somewhat insulted by comments like “We want to see less waste, and fewer trucks moving waste across Ontario highways, not more.” I’d like to believe them but, unless this process somehow reduces the amount of garbage we all make, I have to wonder how it’s going to get to the plant: fly? And, if they run out of garbage to incinerate, is there a possibility they might start to import other area’s garbage to keep going?
The idea of greenhouses to use the steam and power generated there is a nice touch, although I don’t know how much that will use. Will there still be power left over to add to Ontario’s already over-supply of hydro power to sell to the U.S. on the cheap (less than we pay for it).
As an exercise, I looked up the exposure limits as per the NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety) Pocket Guide. Each substance that’s listed has two long-term exposure values (and sometimes short-term as well, but they don’t apply in a 24/7 exposure situation). The NIOSH numbers are listed as REL, which stands for Recommended Exposure Limits and the OSHA (Occupation Safety and Health Association) numbers listed as PEL, which is Permissible Exposure Level (by law). The OSHA numbers are the political decision that lawmakers decided upon. Both organizations are American but, unfortunately, those are the numbers largely used here (why re-invent the wheel, right?).
If you want to see what I dug up, in reference to the numbers the proponents provided, please see the spreadsheet: Stack Emissions – NIOSH.
All in all, it promises to be an interesting evening. And it will be even more interesting to see whether Council goes ahead a votes to rescind their support.