The ordinance would set dioxin limits at about half of what the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency allows municipal solid waste-powered plants to emit.
Dioxins, a toxic compound and byproduct of various industrial processes, continue to be a matter of debate over the project.
Proponents of the plant say the heating process will operate at too low of a temperature in the absence of oxygen to produce dioxins. Brugh and other opponents contest this, pointing to the fact that oxygen will be in the refuse itself and citing the oxygen listed in a gas analysis in Pyrolyzer’s proposal.
The commissioners took the proposed legislation under advisement for about three months, a period of time in which they said they received calls from both those in support of the measures and against them.
The three county leaders announced recently they would no longer be considering the ordinances.
Cass County Commissioners President Dave Arnold said he felt proposed legislation could possibly prevent existing businesses from expanding.
“The more I look at it, any existing business that would have any expansion would also possibly fall under that,” Arnold said. “We’re not here to hurt existing businesses.”
Brugh said she disagrees, adding she is willing to change them to ensure they couldn’t be interpreted this way.
“The ordinances are very modest,” she said. “They only apply to new, large incinerators and only restrict four air pollutants. If there are concerns about the ordinances’ impact upon future expansions of existing Cass County businesses, I welcome adding language that would exempt expansions for existing operations.”
Mitchell Kirk is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5130 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him: @PharosMAK