Thursday, December 16, 2010

Palmer Renewable Energy tries to bully City Council

So let me get this straight: Palmer Renewable Energy's attorney Frank Fitzgerald says it doesn't matter if Springfield City Council revokes its special permit to construct a biomass incinerator.

BUT if the council does revoke, PRE will sue the City of Springfield for its "arbitrary and capricious" actions.

Why sue over the revocation of a permit that you don't need?

No dollar amount was mentioned in the Springfield Republican article, but I've heard off the record that the amount of damages sought could be $125 million.  I can see why this would make city council swallow hard.  But there's something wrong with this picture.

Stop Toxic Incineration in Springfield will be meeting this Tuesday at the Arise office to figure out where we go from here.  But we're not done  pushing Springfield City Council to do the right thing.  We have some volunteer lawyers examining every aspect of the permitting process, zoning regulations, etc. and we will be getting back to City Council soon with the alternate legal opinions.  We have a few other cards to play, also.

The state hasn't protected us and city council seems to think they can't protect us, either.  No revocation vote was taken Monday night and while we were originally assured that that vote would take place in January, that vote is far from assured.

So here's what I'd like the Springfield readers of this blog to do: call your city councilors, both your ward rep and the at large councilors, and ask them: Why is PRE threatening to sue for a permit they claim not to need?

Just one more short note about something we need to think about, both short and long term:  When PRE wanted to burn Construction and Demolition debris,  no figures were available for the already existing levels of pollutants in the area. for much of the pollutants they would emit.  But some of these figures are available now.  They were measured at an air monitoring site in Westover.  We're already in deep trouble.  
  • Arsenic: 525% of the Allowable Ambient Limit
  • Cadmium: 810%
  • Formaldehyde: 2688%
  • Benzene: 718%
Many of these pollutants are produced by the simple action of combustion.  Yeah, we need energy-- but why poison ourselves when there are better ways to get it?

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