Pharos-Tribune

July 14, 2013

BISHOP: Calming the fears of residents over power plant

By Bob Bishop
Guest columnist

---- — I received a phone call the other day from a citizen who lives in the surrounding community. She told me that she could not sleep at night because of what she heard at the Brughs' event at McHale Auditorium on June 26. After reading another forum letter in the paper from a citizen with the same type of concerns, I decided to write this brief reply to hopefully dispel some of the seeds of fear that have been planted in our community. First of all, let me make it clear that I will NOT allow any of your fears to become reality. I only have one out of seven votes, but I believe the majority of the council is in support of building a new power plant that is environmentally safe. On June 26 we simply went to a fictional horror movie played out live at McHale Auditorium. The people that gave their “opinions” were only there to give their opinions, not facts as related to the power plant that we are considering for Logansport. They were not comparing apples to apples. I would also like the group to disclose who is financing their efforts? We were told at the McHale Auditorium event that the Brughs had an anonymous donor paying the bill. The speakers asked for transparency, where is their transparency? What, or who are they hiding from us? Who gains from shutting down our generating plant, losing our independence, forcing us to purchase our energy at whatever rate they dictate to us and at the same time losing local jobs? It seems the only thing the opponents have left to try to stop progress in Logansport is to create fear that the plant will be poisoning our air, water and soil. That is NOT going to happen. The local, state and federal regulatory agencies will not approve a facility that will pollute the air, soil and water? The state oversight process required for the implementation of the power plant is very thorough and strict. A number of studies and modeling exercises will need to be undertaken by Pyrolyzer LLC to satisfy all approval agencies that the power plant will not have any negative environmental impact. With this process in place, I think people can rest well knowing there is a very stringent procedure in place to protect their environment and health?

In my opinion, this power plant should be an environmentalist dream come true. It is my understanding that the new power plant will meet all current state and federal standards related to emissions and reduce our community’s carbon footprint AND, at the same time, produce four times the power. While producing this clean energy, we will be eliminating Logansport’s trash from ever going to another landfill and eliminate the trash tax. We will also eliminate approximately 6,000 tons a day of other communities' Municipal Solid Wastes (MSW) from going to a landfill. What happens to all this MSW? You can go to Pyrolyzer’s website, www.pyrolyzerllc.com, and LMU’s website, www.logansportutilities.com/RFP_Summaries, to find out for yourself the specifics, but I will summarize. The majority of the MSW comes in on sealed train cars. It is dumped on a cement slab inside a building that is closed and has a filtration system to filter the air exiting the building. The MSW is then sorted in an automated sorting machine called a MRF. The MRF sorts out the materials that can't or they don’t want to use in creating a new recycled fuel source. Glass, steel, aluminum, and other recyclable material are sold to go back into new products. The Pyrolyzer system then Pyrolyzes the fuel source in a sealed system, that converts the fuel source to a synthetic gas that is called Pyrogas. Pyrogas is interchangeable with natural gas (NG) in this system. Then, either the Pyrogas or NG is used to fuel the turbines that turn the generators. The only thing that comes out of the plant is electricity, recycled materials that are sold to market, and the emissions from the power plant will have to pass the strict regulations. I have asked a lot of questions along the way and read all of the materials given to us. So far, all of my questions have been answered satisfactorily. I live in Logansport, too, and I will the rest of my life, so this also concerns me on a personal level. I was elected to represent the people, not the government, and I will do so as long as I am in office.In closing I would ask for everyone involved in this process that will determine Logansport’s future, to please stick to the facts and not resort to fear tactics or personal attacks that can cause our citizens of Logansport to lose unnecessarily sleep at night.Bob Bishop is a city councilman representating Ward One. He can be reached via email at BishopForWardOne@comcast.net