This message and attachment went to Mayor Foxx, the full Charlotte City Council and selected representatives from the media:
Charlotte Economic Development Committee,
At the City of Charlotte Economic Development Committee on December 9, Councilman Dulin raised the question of safety issues of gasification related to fires and explosions. ReVenture indicated that they “were not aware of any issues”.
We found this puzzling for the following reasons (see attached for additional information and references):
- The original technology proposed by ReVenture had been the SEMASS Incinerator in Rochester, Massachusetts, the site of one of the largest fires in Rochester history.
- The widely available and referenced report on “Case Studies of Gasification, Pyrolysis, and Plasma in Europe, Asia, and the United” describes operational problems (including explosions), emissions violations and cost overruns in garbage incinerators using Gasification, Pyrolysis, and Plasma technologies.
- Issues of Fire Hazards and Explosive Atmosphere conditions in Gasification Incinerators have been identified as a real danger. A European Commission has developed a Checklist to identify possible locations, origins and consequences of Fire Hazards and Explosive Atmosphere conditions in gasification incinerators.
- The explosive nature of Refuse Derived Fuel is documented and fires have been reported. A Japanese study concluded that “radicals are formed from RDF by oxidation or thermal degradation at room or atmospheric temperatures and may subsequently lead to spontaneous combustion.”
We strongly recommend that the Charlotte City Council request from the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners an independent third part analysis of the data related to Fire Hazards and Explosive Atmosphere conditions related to Refuse Derived Fuel production and Gasification technology prior to any vote to amend the Mecklenburg County 10-Year Solid Waste Plan.
Should you and the other members of City Council believe that all safety issues related to the proposed garbage intake, garbage sorting, RDF processing and storage, transfer to the incinerator site, and the actual burning of the processed garbage have not identified, researched and addressed with the developer, we believe that you must vote NO on the proposed revisions to the Mecklenburg County 10-Year Solid Waste Plan.
If we can provide any additional information on this issue or you would like clarification, please feel free to contact me.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle & Rethink…
Incinerator Free Mecklenburg
Representing 2,300 members in Anson, Cabarrus, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Stanly & Union counties
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