The Journal, Mason County’s weekly community newspaper, has a distinctly arrogant tone and editorial policy toward critics of BioMassacre. But in the 21st century, WE are the media! The Journal is unlikely to be around in 5 years judging from the thinness of its advertising section, its antipathy toward its own readers, and pending legislation allowing legal notices on the internet. Accordingly, this community blog/news site attempts to provide that which The Journal cannot or will not.
Having insufficient time to adequately edit the video tapes of the many speakers who contributed their views at the recent ORCAA Hearing held at the Shelton Civic Center, they will be uploaded to youtube.com with links to the same listed below in chronological order. Any comments helping identify the unnamed speakers will be appreciated. As uploads to youtube.com take considerable time, please check back often to monitor progress toward posting them all.
The public hearing was a legally required charade. ORCAA can’t recall ever denying a permit application. Adage imported a bevy of outside union members eager for the temporary jobs they anticipated building the BioMassacre scaffold on which the company seeks to hang the community for corporate profits. The visitors ignored a plea to stand in solidarity with the community rather than adopt the corporate agenda.
One of the 1st speakers (name?) recounted her career as a health and toxicology expert who found the Adage proposal alarming and failing the standards needed to protect the health of the community.
Mr. Matoyoshi reads a prepared statement extolling ORCAA while advising any who may criticize it state their credentials while failing to mention the basis for his own exultation. He goes on to herald the jobs presumed but ignores mention of those that will be displaced along with the damage to the environment, our health, community and quality of life.
Retired Health and Toxicologist expert criticizes Adage BioMassacre proposal followed by Matt Matoyoshi, EDC director and wannabe in waiting for reincarnation as Jay Hupp/Tim Sheldon. (Tim is currently undergoing auto beatification.) Matt attempts to divert attention from the negative health impact by focusing on 24 promised jobs while ignoring the 100’s that will be displaced/eliminated if the project goes forward.
Shelton resident, Linda Brewer, questions ORCAA’s competency and nebulous statistical references followed by expressions of concern for her family’s health and our air quality resulting from the proposed Adage BioMassacre project.
Retired construction lawmaker Marvin Slawson overstated the case for Adage’s BioMassacre incinerator by claiming its high temperatures and bag-house would eliminate any toxins and pollutants from its exhaust. Mr. Slawson omitted mention of the fact that high temperatures exacerbate NOX emissions (contributing to acid rain and lung disease), while bag-houses fail to remove the most dangerous PM2.5 particulates, radioactive Cesium and Strontium 90 along with hundred of tons of other toxins/pollutants admitted in Adage’s own permit application. Mr. Slawson destroyed much of his credibility by failing to acknowledge those facts. He went on to characterize the BioMassacre proposal as a ‘money maker’ but never claimed residency in Mason County. He wore a boilermakers union T-shirt like those worn by the other visitors from that labor organization.
Local resident, Warren Hoffman, argues the Adage SEPA permit application admits plans to discharge hundreds of tons of toxins and pollutants into the already compromised air and local environment. He points to the effects the resulting acid range will have on our watershed, streams, and estuaries. He asks if this will destroy shell-fish farming in our area. Mr. Hoffman criticizes the overwhelming influx of diesel truck traffic expected to accompany a massive BioMassacre incinerator such as Adage proposes.
Allen resident Ralph Drexler reads prepared statement attributed to Realtors association applauding ORCAA. Allen will be downwind from the Adage BioMassacre incinerator’s plume if it is built.
Leon Leonard, an air quality consultant and registered engineer criticizes the slack air pollution standards Adage proposes for its BioMassacre facility. He contrasts these with the far more robust standards implemented in other biomass incinerators around the country.
Paul Jones of Olympia, Union rep, and his visiting membership offended local residents with an orchestrated violation of the hearing rules while plugging for temporary ‘jobs’ they believe Adage will furnish them. Scant attention was given by any of their scripted testimony to community sentiment, health, or quality of life. It was entirely about the money. The pleas of the community fell on the deaf ears of our visiting brothers and sisters in organized labor who turned their backs on local residents.
Curtis Winters, a visiting painter by trade and native American, pumps ‘jobs’ promised by Adage from its BioMassacre planned project. The words in Chief Sealth’s letter to the President have long been forgotten if ever encountered by this citizen. Now, rather than the environment, it’s all about the money. The corporate agenda trumps community values.
Mike O’Connor, environmental consultant, forecasts the effect acid rain and heavy metals from Adage’s BioMassacre incinerator will have on Oakland Bay, its shellfish and estuaries.
Steve Bloomfield, Oakland Bay shellfish farmer, remains oblivious to the economic impact heavy metals and Dioxin contamination will have on his product. Despite Washington State Dept. of Ecology’s glib assurances, Shelton Harbor is a hotbed of Dioxin contamination…the highest in the Puget Sound region…with sediment samples ranging from 175 ppt to as high as 902 ppt. Few distant markets are currently aware of this extremely high incidence of Dioxin contamination in our local bays and estuaries. No monitoring of current stack emissions for Dioxin is being done or scheduled in the future. No cleanup effort is envisioned. The plan, according to Washington’s Dept. of Ecology is to simply leave the Dioxin where it lies. The Army Corps of Engineers refuses to allow the Port to dispose of any dredging material in open water, requiring upland disposal at 10x/20x the cost instead.
Mary Chilton, a resident goatherd and gardener in the Grapeview area, protests the impact Adage’s BioMassacre incinerator pollutants will have on her home and coming generations. She is a retired school teacher who taught biology and health care, master gardener, and expert Nubian goat breeder.
April Heron (sic?), local 26 pipe-fitter, argues existing pollution, electricity needs, and few alternatives justify Adage’s BioMassacre. She also repeats the ‘jobs’ mantra. She omits the adequacy of the Pacific NorthWest’s hydro electrical capacity for its needs while suggesting that because automobiles in the area aren’t required to undergo regular air pollution certification, BioMassacre is the answer to a problem we don’t have in western Washington. Yes, Dupe Energy has a problem. It’s a filthy, predatory, rapacious anachronism squatting on innumerable coal plants across the nation. It’s CO2 footprint is monstrously huge. It knows the jig is up. It’s dying gasps for corporate immortality rest on burning NorthWest forests to acquire carbon credits in a regulatory Cap and Trade arena. But BioMassacre is DIRTIER than coal! That’s right. Wood incineration generates MORE CO2 per kilowatt/hour produced than coal…by about a factor of 2x. Carbon-Neutral? Hardly! Unless you’re in the habit of cashing post dated checks you’ll wait 50-100 years or more to have honored…if ever, assuming this kind of instant long term carbon debt is the height of folly straight from The Emperor’s New Clothes. Yet educated fools repeat the fool’s refrain in every direction. They will, unfortunately, continue to do so until the MONEY runs out…because that, in the end, is what this is all about.
Finally she resorts to the ‘jobs’ rationale, implying we effectively should sell our children and ignore community opposition to Adage’s permit application. Adage’s electrical generating capacity will be sold to California while local residents endure the pollution, decline in health, and environmental destruction. April could be a soul mate of Interior Secretary James Watt, who believed environmental conservation was superfluous because Jesus was coming soon. April’s reasoning goes something like this: Things suck. Until they’re better, there’s no sense in trying to make a difference now. Besides (she says), she hasn’t had her car inspected when she buys tabs, so that means Adage should have a place at the table while the rest of us choke on its hubris. April’s critical reasoning ability is now apparent…a single dimensional analysis that ignores the multitude of other critical factors including forest sustainability, community sentiment, health warnings from medical experts, existing Dioxin contamination, PM2.5 emissions, proximity to densely populated residential areas, non-point diesel truck traffic emissions, traffic fatality statistics, public infrastructure burden, forest based cottage industry and tourism displacement, real estate value decline, acid rain, and the bankrupting of the community’s quality of life. April’s analysis is a bit like listening to a school girl’s evaluation of her maiden aunt’s virtue. Don’t quit your day job, April!
If yours truly sounds more than unusually irritated with April, it’s because her argument is especially vacuous. Residents deserve better from a young woman who should be thinking about the world she’s creating for the community’s children.
Mr. Letinich, a labor council rep from the Vancouver, WA. area implied he was a Mason County resident by mentioning ownership of a Lake Cushman vacation cabin. He suggested that because laborers receive training in Kingston on how to dispose of asbestos, etc. the community should trust them and our government to protect us from the hazardous materials and toxins that will be emitted by Adage’s BioMassacre facility, so not to worry. He mentioned no special expertise in this regard and did not address the medical community’s warnings along with other health experts about the health impact on residents and children from the proposed incinerator and associated diesel truck traffic.
Local resident Bob Stone objects to use of the misnomer, ‘green’ as simply a ruse for those standing to profit from the destruction of the local environment, our health, and quality of life. He asks that the Adage permit application be denied, and our quality of life be preserved. Unlike the visiting proponents waiting to profit from Adage’s BioMassacre scheme at the community’s expense, Mr. Stone has lived in Mason County 40+ years.
While the ORCAA hearing was designated as a forum to discuss air quality and Adage’s proposed permit application on the same, the visiting proponents repeatedly opined about the ‘jobs’ and money they might receive, disregarding community sentiment against it and the destruction of what residents hold dear.
Randy Netherlin heralded ‘jobs’ promised by Adage provided its BioMassacre proposal meets legal requirements. He emphasized no party or interest group should be above the law. He made no comment on how the existing laws governing the permitting process were created under the likes of Tim Sheldon and other politicians corrupted by corporate money/consideration and conflicts of interest. One resident called on him to address the pollution issues for which the hearing was being held. Randy brushed her off and failed to do so. For him, it was all about the money.
Ms. Schumacher, a local farmer & shellfish worker, tells of weakened shellfish, polluted bays and estuaries, and reminds attendees of the recent Gulf of Mexico disaster. She votes no confidence in our goverment agencies charged with environmental oversight of Adage’s BioMassacre scheme. She cites the poor track record of corporations and regulatory agencies in reaching her conclusion.
Jeff Nichols, a Montesano union electrician, argues Adage’s smokestack will improve air quality and the environment because he saw slash being burned in Ocean Shores. The relatively tiny amount of slash currently burned in the Chehalis Air Gab (28,000 T/yr and slated to go to zero) escaped mention. But Jeff found time to extol the virtues of the ALTA coal burning plant in Centralia. After questioning local residents about their sincerity over air quality, he went on to pronounce the electricity anticipated from Adage’s BioMassacre scheme had to come from somewhere and claimed ‘we’ needed it. Currently, the Pacific NorthWest does not need additional electricity and pays about 1/3 per kilowatt/hour what Adage will be demanding for its generating capacity. Mr. Nicholson would be undaunted by the fact woody biomass incineration is dirtier than coal since he favors both irrespective of how the material to fuel either is extracted.
Kathryn Price, local activist, resident, and blogger criticizes ORCAA’s failure to publish hearing in a local newspaper of general circulation or to acknowledge the many warnings from medical experts regarding the health impact Adage’s BioMassacre pollution of air quality will have on residents.
Local resident Donald Jones urges clean alternatives such as wind and solar to Adage’s BioMassacre scheme. With rhyme and verse, he portrays a vision that could save the community from choking on the exhaust of criminal corporations such as Adage and Dupe Energy.
Charles Schwartz describes himself as a local union carpenter. He disparages the concerns of seniors and retired residents as secondary to ‘jobs’. Mr. Schwartz gave no mention of the children and community health residents sought to protect.
Deborah Soper, local resident, condemns government agencies and industry based on their poor track record, failure to protect, and inadequate safeguards. She argues more emphasis needs to be given to preventing disasters such as the Gulf of Mexico disaster rather than management by crisis after the harm is realized. She pleads with an indifferent ORCAA to protect the community.
Local registered nurse Connie Simpson warns ORCAA of the death and sickness she has witnessed as a result of air pollution induced illness. She opposes Adage’s BioMassacre project on that basis while pointing to children and the elderly as the most vulnerable. Connie cites expert medical opinion about the harm done by the pollutants Adage concedes it will be emitting. She notes her own asthma didn’t materialize until she moved to Mason County. Ms Simpson debunks the ‘slash’ burning myth by pointing out very little is now burned, even less will be in the near future. She criticizes such projects as fueled by incongruous profligate government funding, characterizing Adage’s BioMassacre proposal as a cynical ‘greenwash’ sham. Connie characterizes BioMassacre as caveman technology and calls for an EIS (environmental impact study). The anticipated increase in diesel truck traffic is damned and the unspecified schedule of monitoring/logging pollutants is criticized.
Roslynn Reed (native American and local resident) tells of how her husband was crippled by air pollution and ASARCO when she and he lived in Ruston (the site of the ASARCO smokestack and smelter). He incurred the injury while attempting to build a greenhouse, via the contaminated soil in their back yard to which he was exposed, for his wife by their home. He suffers and continues to be in pain to this day. ASARCO ceased to exist when the lawsuits started to roll in. She and her husband never received compensation from ASARCO or the government for the debilitating injury just as Adage as an LLC is poised to evaporate out of existence when efforts are made to hold it accountable. Dupe Energy (Adage’s owner) has anticipated such liability and sought to insulate itself by creating a shell holding company…ADAGE.
James Bell, a Union resident, warns of a decline in tourism if the smokestack Adage proposes in its BioMassacre scheme is built. He references Dupe Energy’s (Adage’s owner) poor record in adhering to terms reached with unions across the U.S. He suggests they should not be trusted to keep promises made.
Resident paralegal John Smith invites union members to stand with the community against predatory corporate agendas. He argues the community and unions are each others natural allies who should seek solidarity through common cause. Natural rights/guarantees to Life, Liberty, the Pursuit of Happiness and how air quality is an essential ingredient under those designations are emphasized along with the sham ORCAA is orchestrating without any real consideration of community values/sentiments and objections. He warns the community ORCAA can’t recall ever denying a permit application.
Ken Latimer cites his family’s long history in the community. He challenges the meaning of ORCAA’s data while predicting a failure of Adage’s proposed project based on stale assumptions. Ken pleads for the health of the community and its children. The audience applauds for his stirring expression of community sentiment.
Kevin argues BioMassacre needs to be implemented to avoid disastrous forest fires. He beams with reports of European nations and eastern schools burning their forests to extract energy/heating.
Dorothy Miklin and family object to BioMassacre induced air pollution proposed by Adage. She suggests the community does not need another area air polluter. She points out several other corporations are waiting to follow suit should the Adage incinerator be permitted. Given Adage’s electrical generating capacity (but not the pollution which is dirtier than coal) will be sold in California, she asks why the facility isn’t being built there…or, she continues, are their environmental laws/regulations better than ours?
Jane Clark admits she isn’t as invested in the community as residents, but expresses an affinity for clean air. Yet she bases her conclusions on the erroneous assumption that the BioMassacre Adage proposes would be fueled by woody material slated to be burned in our forests as ‘slash’. In fact, only 28,000 T/yr are currently burned in the entire Chehalis Air Gap (Lewis, Thurston, Grays Harbor, Mason) which is slated to go to ZERO under proposed more stringent regulations. Adage proposes to burn 604,00 T/yr which, combined with Simpson’s proposed 400,000 T/yr will total over a Million T/yr burned in our community alone.
Janice Charles expresses regret on having moved from Camano Island to an area considering BioMassacre siting. She believes the ‘jobs’ promised are not worth the risk to the community.
Tammy St Paul appreciates clean air and trusts Adage’s BioMassacre scheme. She feels the risk to air quality and the community’s health is worth the promised ‘jobs’ payoff. She does not speak of the forest based cottage industries and tourism that will be displaced nor quality of life or community sentiment. She cites her sons taking out of area jobs as the basis for her conclusion. Presumably they will be tempted to return to Mason County and Shelton once it becomes a gateway to industrial slums.
Having moved here from California to retire, Dianne reminds listeners of the importance of seniors to the economy and well being of the community. She states, had she known of a pending BioMassacre facility, she would never have become a resident. She argues the regional quality of life is as dependent on seniors like her as the youth.
Joel Perry of 750 Pickering states he favors the Adage BioMassacre scheme because residents have wood stoves and some commute to out of area jobs. He alleges area youth will find not only jobs, but careers with Adage despite the poor labor relations and pay track record of Dupe Energy. Adage’s current PR reps, Jim Gaston and Tom DuPonte, are paid a relative pittance (~$35,000/yr?) for their work. It is anticipated Adage employees will receive less than Washington State’s median income for their family size. One could ask for a look at their health care plan provided by Adage. Judging by Mr. Gaston, it’s sub-par if it exists. These assertions would be consistent with the criminal history and environmental scofflaw behavior of Dupe Energy.
Harstine Island resident Conley Watson warns of how the ‘design & build’ specs submitted to ORCAA are subject to unregulated change orders. He gives the example of how Adage now plans on using diesel as a startup fuel rather than the less noxious natural gas previously proposed. Adage PR rep Jim Gaston defended the change by citing the cost of the cleaner fuel. Before Adage has even left the starting gate, it is already cutting corners at the expense of the community and its air quality contrary to one proponent’s claim Adage would use only the ‘best’ technology in order to protect the environment. The distinction between ‘BACT’ and ‘MACT’ technology was lost on that supporter. Adage refuses to use the better more expensive MACT process.
Mr. Watson challenges ORCAA by asking how they can approve a boiler that has not been built or tested yet.
Resident Susan Byrd criticizes the slated BioMassacre and predicts the Adage incinerator’s obsolescence becoming a dinosaur with which the community will be stuck. She recalls becoming violently ill as a child when swallowing government supplied fluoride tablets after receiving agency assurances. Susan references the poor health and property values suffered by Tacoma residents as a result of becoming an industrial slum. She failed to mention Shelton is already the cancer capital of Washington State, i.e. has the highest incidence of that illness which experts reckon is caused almost exclusively by environmental hazards/chemical pollutants.
Local James Chavez reads scripted statement favoring Adage. He argues ‘slash’ will fuel the incinerator and government regulations will protect the community. He urges the permit be issued to allow it to be built.
Local Nurse Practicioner Deborah Hartles cites and gives expert testimony against the proposed Adage BioMassacre. She warns there is no safe level of exposure to the massive amounts of PM2.5 particles which will escape Adage’s ‘bag house’ unimpeded. She tells of how exposure leads to lung and heart disease as well as diabetes. She describes the non-point unregulated pollution from the expected fleet of diesel trucks which are predicted to emit 7x the pollution from the Adage incinerator itself, how this will sicken children and the elderly among the most vulnerable. Finally, Deb adds that Mason County ranks 35th out of 37 Washington Counties as almost the worst for the health of its residents.
Wendy Ervin recalled her family history in the area dating back to Teddy Roosevelt. She reasoned disposal of forest slash involved shipping it to landfills which incurs transportation costs. She cites the need to dispose of waste by some means, concluding incineration is just the ticket. It wasn’t clear whether she was including urban waste streams in her reasoning.
John Cox, resident and union steward, argues too few temporary jobs don’t justify the long term (decades) harm and environmental disaster Adage’s BioMassacre scheme would visit upon Mason County residents. John and his wife, Christine Armond, live downwind directly across the bay from the area’s worst current air polluting corporation (Simpson/Green Diamond) atop Puget Sound’s worst hot spot of Dioxin contamination.
Struggling to interpret Adage’s scripted talking points, visiting boilermaker Eric Grivin, lionizes BioMassacre as ‘green’, carbon-neutral, best technology, environmentally responsible and beneficial despite expert testimony to the contrary and obvious community hostility to the proposal. He labels residents’ complaints as ‘bashing’. Eric glibly asserts the craftsmen are concerned about air quality, calling them ‘environmentalists’. Basically, he asserts BioMassacre will improve/clean the environment through a smokestack built by union labor and Adage.
Tom Davis, a lifelong union member and local realtor, challenges ORCAA to meet its responsibility to residents slated to be exposed to the BioMassacre and air pollution proposed by Adage. He cites shifting regulatory requirements and the 3-year federal EPA moratorium imposed to consider the merits of biomass air quality pollution. Tom suggests ORCAA’s rush to judgment in the face of community opposition, expert medical opinion, new science on the devastating health impact of micro-fine particulates impossible to remove from wood fueled incinerator emissions, destruction of the local forest based cottage industries and quality of life reveal the agency is a sham subject to pressure from vested special interests, politicians, and wealthy corporations like Adage.
(More as uploads progress…)