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November 6, 2013

Cass commissioners drop emissions ordinances

Commish: Requirements could hurt existing businesses.

Cass County Commissioners have decided not to vote on two ordinances proposed to them by a Logansport citizen that would require licensing and establish more stringent emissions limits on businesses seeking to develop in the county.

Mercedes Brugh proposed the legislation in August as Logansport Mayor Ted Franklin continued to negotiate with Pyrolyzer LLC, the Boca Raton, Fla.-based company seeking to develop a power plant in the city powered by refuse-derived fuel.

Brugh has voiced her opposition to the project at public meetings in the past and has organized events led by speakers from across the state and country to address the project, including environmental activists, an economist and a physician.

One of the proposed ordinances would have required new businesses that would discharge more than 100,000 gallons of water per day and combust more than 10 tons of waste per day to acquire a license from the county.

The application process for this license would require the business to submit a detailed description of any new operation falling under the above criteria. Studies would then be conducted in several fields, including public health, environmental, geological and financial. Multiple independent firms and consultants would carry out these studies, with all of it overseen by a committee appointed by the commissioners.

A public hearing would also have to take place before the license could be voted on by the commissioners, the proposed ordinance states.

The Pyrolyzer project would certainly have had to fall under these regulations, as its proposal states the plant would require about three million gallons of water and 4,000 to 6,000 tons of refuse per day.

After acquiring a license under the proposed ordinance, businesses would be subject to the terms of another ordinance proposed by Brugh that would limit four classes of pollutants and monitor 10, including mercury, dioxins, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide.

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