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September 23, 2013

Doctor to discuss new power plant

Doctor will discuss incineration and proposed emissions ordinance on Tuesday.

LOGANSPORT — CORRECTION Nov. 15, 2013: This story was updated to reflect that the presentation was by one doctor and not a panel of doctors.

A doctor will discuss Logansport’s proposed power plant project at Logansport Memorial Hospital Tuesday.

The proposed plant, currently under negotiation between the city and Boca Raton, Fla.-based Pyrolyzer LLC, would use a process called pyrolysis to heat refuse-derived-fuel and combust the gas produced from it to power turbines and create electricity.

The event Tuesday is being organized by Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy, or CARE. The group organized a panel of three men in the fields of environmental activism and business earlier this summer that brought out more than 170 attendees.

Logansport citizen Mercedes Brugh, a member of the group, proposed an ordinance to Cass County commissioners last month that would establish limits on new large incineration plants in the county.

At a Cass County commissioners meeting Sept. 16, Commissioner Jim Sailors said he and the other commissioners were still considering the ordinance.

The event at the hospital will address how incineration can affect patient health and the proposed ordinance, a press release states.

Logansport officials in favor of the project and city-hired consultants denounce the term incineration in relation to the project, saying Pyrolyzer’s form of pyrolysis operates at too low of a temperature in the absence of oxygen to be considered incineration.

Brugh and others have contested these claims, saying that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, uses the terms combustion and incineration interchangeably and cites pyrolysis in its definition of combustion.

Logansport Municipal Utilities Superintendent Paul Hartman said in an interview he interprets incineration to mean “to burn to ashes,” which the proposed Pyrolyzer plant would not do.

Bernie Paul, president of Indianapolis-based B Paul Consulting LLC and a consultant assisting the city with acquiring air permits for the plant, has stated the gas created in the plant will go through a process that will remove dangerous chemicals and that the Indiana Department of Environmental Management must receive EPA approval before issuing permits for projects like the one being proposed for Logansport.

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