Stop The Biomass Boondoggles: Incinerators Harm the Environment

“Biomass incineration is NOT clean and green, it’s not sustainable and

truly renewable; it’s not carbon neutral, not cost effective;

and it’s neither environmentally friendly nor ecologically sound.”

By Dr. Tom Termotto

Shall we begin by stating that biomass incinerators are rarely, if ever, factually represented by the many sales pitches we see issued by the Energy Industry sector that promotes them. In fact, the marketing language that has now become de rigueur is reminiscent of George Orwell’s 1984. “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.”

To the point, biomass incineration is NOT clean and green, sustainable and renewable, carbon neutral and cost effective, or environmentally friendly and ecologically sound. It is quite the opposite of these beautiful and alluring marketing slogans. Biomass incineration is in reality quite polluting, unsustainable to the extreme and, in some cases, less environmentally friendly than coal burning plants.

Remember the old-fashioned hospital incinerator that nobody ever wanted to live downwind from. Who would want mercury vapors, and the many other highly toxic aerosols, wafting through their neighborhood? Well, then, why would a community want a biomass incinerator sited within winds’ reach of their schools, subdivisions and businesses. The post incineration output of these biomass plants can be much worse than a hospital’s depending on what is being incinerated.

Let’s not forget the golden rule of energy production: “Garbage in; garbage out”. Ultimately the permitting process for these incinerators often allows for the burning of various types of refuse and other feedstocks, which will necessarily degrade air quality. A close look at any state air permit application for these biomass plants will reveal a mix of carcinogens, toxins, pollutants, contaminants and poisons that is really quite alarming.

As we have evaluated the emission estimates of various pollutants, which have been submitted by the very biomass companies themselves, we wonder how they make the leap across the chasm to such environmentally attractive sound bites. Let’s be clear about the assortment and type of contaminants which will inevitably show up in the surrounding air of these biomass plants. As follows:
(1) Dioxins and Furans (2) Particulate Matter – 10.0, 2.5 and 1.0 microns (3) Hydrogen Chloride (4) Nitrogen Dioxide (5) Carbon Monoxide (6) Hydrogen Sulfide (7) Sulfur Dioxide (8) Sulfuric Acid (H2SO4) (9) Mercury, Lead and Arsenic (10) Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) such as benzene, toluene and naphthalene

One can only imagine the harmful effects to human and animal life that these pollutants will cause in those unfortunate cities and counties that have succumbed to the governmental and energy industry forces, which routinely foist these schemes on an uninformed public. What follows is a quote from the Healthcare Professionals For Clean Environment in their letter to Governor Charlie Crist of Florida regarding a proposed biomass incinerator for Gadsden County, FL.

“As you know full well, biomass incinerators of this type will produce extraordinary amounts of air pollution to include dioxin, one of the most toxic and carcinogenic organic chemicals released into the environment by industry. In addition, this incinerator will be 0.3 tons (according to the ADAGE permit application submitted to DEP) shy of being a major source of a particular hazardous air pollutant (hydrogen chloride) according to the FL DEP’s own regulatory guidance concerning the 10 ton threshold for any single air pollutant. This incinerator will also significantly contribute to the total particulate matter volume which already plagues much of North Florida. We are compelled to point out that particulate matter (PM) concentration directly correlates with a whole host of upper respiratory ailments to include sinusitis, rhinitis, pharyngitis, laryngitis, as well as the common cold. More serious respiratory diseases such as lung cancer, emphysema, pneumonia, tuberculosis, pulmonary edema, sarcoidosis, pleurisy and adult respiratory distress syndrome are all greatly aggravated by the various pollutants emitted from biomass plants. Chronic respiratory conditions such as COPD, CREST, asthma, bronchitis, reactive airway disease, as well as numerous inhalant allergies will likewise see an increase wherever these irritants exist above certain thresholds. Likewise, illnesses such as influenza and its many seasonal variants will always be exacerbated when the ambient air is fouled by these particulates and chemical emissions.”

The profound medical repercussions and health impacts of this form of incineration and crude energy production cannot be overstated. Medical organizations from around the country have been weighing in on this matter for as long as biomass marketeers have been submitting their sales literature to the many small, economically depressed communities that are vulnerable to such ill-conceived proposals. The twenty to thirty long-term jobs, which are created by these biomass propositions, will be taken by many who will inevitably experience dangerous levels of exposure to the aforementioned chemicals. Therefore, they will suffer adverse health conditions, which will then contribute to the local medical burden, as well as significantly increase the healthcare costs associated with lifelong remediation.

In an age when the nation is moving toward more enlightened energy platforms concerning production, dissemination and utilization, it is quite anachronistic that some would have us go back to the Stone Age. Burning trees and the like is, after all, what was done before there was solar, wind, oil and gas, coal, nuclear, and hydroelectric power. Why in the world, with a global population approaching 7 billion, would we want to go back to energy sources that are as primitive as they are downright dirty?!

Dr. Tom Termotto, BCIM, DCAE
Lifetime Member – Floridians Against Incinerators in Disguise
President, Healthcare Professionals for Clean Environment
Co-Founder, Concerned Citizens of Florida

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4 Responses to Stop The Biomass Boondoggles: Incinerators Harm the Environment

  1. Linda in Perryville says:

    I’ve never been so disgusted than I am now. They are wanting to build a 32MW wood biomass plant in Perryville, MO. At first I thought this was going to be a good thing for our little community until I started looking up information on this both good and bad. This is the worst our elected officials can do to us. The pollution, air and enviornmentally, financially whose going to want to buy a home in these areas, meaning we will lose our real estate values, our health and basically our lives as we know them now. The people whom we elect are suppose to protect us and have our best interest at heart. Did they forget who put them in office? Who ever is currently in office and are for these biomass plants that pollute like they do should be voted out of office as soon as we can. Whether they be republican or democrat if you are for the biomass plants you need to be on the unemployment line immediately. When election time comes up in November vote them out of office. Campaign against them. All of them. Let’s have a show of support. They all care about the almighty buck more than the public’s health and well being. It’s a scam of the American people. I moved to a small town to enjoy my life not fight for my life. So, write every politian you can and let them know we are going to be changing the polictians currently in office that have pushed the biomass agenda. We are going with a new fresh and greener politian who thinks peoples health and well being should be number one, not corporate well-fare. Speaking of corporate well-fare they are using our hard earned tax money to poison us and our environment. The company coming into Perryville, Missouri is the same company, just a different division that were in on the California fake blackouts when they had plenty of Electricity to go around. The same man that was the head of the company then is the same one in charge of LGR Perryville. The moral standards of these clowns is deplurable. That’s who some of the people our government is backing. I have to wonder what is going on with our world. All the good people are being taken advantage of, shame on our government for letting it happen. Remember, vote them out of office this November as they don’t deserve their positions. Hey I know, they can get a job with their biomass friends. When you feel like trash, look like trash and hang with trash you turn into trash. That’s what our polictians that are for this, seem to be “trash”.

  2. Linda in Perryville says:

    All of my fields with the red asterick were filled in, just as requested

  3. Pingback: The Biggest FRAUD In Gainesville History? | Stop The Biomass Boondoggles

  4. Pingback: The Biggest Rip-off in Gainesville History | Stop The Biomass Boondoggles

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