PT Mill applies to generate electricity – Concerns raised, comment period open

The PT mill, has filed for the ability to generate “green” energy by building a steam fired electricity plant, apparently fueled by biomass (meaning forest slash, etc.), recycled paper, and other reclaimed materials. Some emissions will be increased by this move, some decreased, further evaluation of the request is needed to understand it’s true affects. A public comment period of thirty days has been opened from July 16th to August 18th, but the public meeting won’t be held until August 17th (!). This is a very suspicious move by Ecology, and leads one to wonder about the motives of this permit.  Port Townsend Air Watchers and the Sierra Club have already asked for an extension on this, and this publication also believes that giving one day to the public to comment after the hearing does not constitute a decent interval for concerns about an ‘upgrade’ that will lead to significant new pollutants being dumped into the air we breathe.

The steam turbine would be fueled by “Hog Fuel” which is an unprocessed mix of barks and wood fiber. It is ground up after logging activities. It takes ‘slash’ that might be recycled on the ground and burns it. There is some controversy about this process, and whether it is ‘green’ or not. It appears that it is better than burning petroleum products. But, for example, would we be experiencing as much pollution from this if it were to burn natural gas?

While lowering some pollutants, like particulate matter, and Sulfer Dioxide,  we can expect to see increases in the following:

  • Fuel handling, mainly particulates, read ‘dust’ or ‘soot’
  • Carbon Monoxide pollution will increase by 43 Tons a year. This will bring us up to having 635 tons of CO put into our air, a year. Mainly people downwind or in the plume will be affected.  CO is a major component of smog, and may be contributing to ocean acidification. CO changes into CO2, the major component being considered as a contributor to global warming. It also leads to ozone depletion (remember concerns with the ozone hole in Antartica?)
  • Volitile Organic Carbons (VOC) will be increased by 1.1 Ton a year.

So how “green” is this steam plant going to be? That is debatable. You can add your input on this, learn more, and ask questions, as you will be living with this new pollution levels for decades to come. Questions also have been raised about the affects of stripping the forests of slash.

If you want to ask Ecology to extend the comment period, please call Angie Fritz at Ecology, (360)407-7393.

The copy of the proposed order can be viewed at the PT Library or at :

http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/swfa/industrial/pulp_porttown.html

Mystery Bay Management Plan (Buoys and Shellfish) Open House Set for Jan. 27

OLYMPIA – The Governor’s Office of Regulatory Assistance announces the draft Mystery Bay management plan is set for public review and input. An open house to present and discuss the draft plan is scheduled for 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM (doors open at 6:00 PM), Jan. 27, 2010, at Fort Flagler State Park. Residents and other interested parties are encouraged to attend, learn about the plan, ask questions, and provide comments.

The management plan is designed to keep Mystery Bay shellfish harvest beds open while accommodating other uses of the bay.

“We are hopeful that others interested in creating collaborative plans for managing water will use this as a model,” said Faith Lumsden, ORA director. “The plan accomplishes this while also protecting shellfish harvest and tribal treaty rights.”

In summer 2008, a large portion of Mystery Bay, located on the west shore of Marrowstone Island in Jefferson County, was closed to commercial shellfish harvest due to the number of boats in the bay and the risk of pollution to shellfish beds. The implications were serious as the shellfish industry represents a significant portion of Washington’s coastal economy as shellfish growers contribute $110 million annually to the region’s economy and provide thousands of family-wage jobs in coastal communities.

A group of stakeholders was led by ORA to draft a management plan to keep Mystery Bay open for shellfish harvest.  The group includes the Jefferson County Marine Resources Committee and Departments of Community Development, Natural Resources and Community Health; Marrowstone Island Community Association; State Departments of Health, Natural Resources, Fish and Wildlife, and State Parks; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association; Treaty Tribes; and Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission.

To see the DRAFT the management plan, visit: http://www.ora.wa.gov.

Action item: Contact lawmakers on Navy Testing Plan

We have covered the proposal by the Navy to create an expanded testing range here in Admiralty Inlet before on olyopen.net. In order for you to be better informed on this, I’ve included this California site which has a good overview of the issues facing us if this goes through.

I think I agree with some who say we Washington residents should be requesting that the government hold a hearing in Washington State.  On the White House web site there is a place to put in comments. 

Read up, and make up your own mind on whether this sounds like a good idea for the waters off our shores here on the east end of Jefferson County. If you agree, you may want to send in, or call in a comment asking for such a hearing to be held locally.

http://www.californiaskywatch.com/white_house_request_comments_on_oceans.htm

More Mystery Bay news..

The PDN continues it’s coverage of the Mystery Bay shellfish controversy. While I appreciate the tribes stance, and also tend to agree that there are probably too many boats and buoys in there, I haven’t read of any science to say that the boats are actually the problem. Likely the source of the problem will be shown to be something else, like failing septic systems, warming waters, changing water chemistry,etc. Most boaters don’t dump overboard, especially while tied up. Also, the type of folks tying up out there, which tend to be ‘old timers’ in the area, usually know better.

6/16 Peninsula Daily News -Inner Mystery Bay to stay open to commercial shellfishing, state official says-By Jeff Chew
Peninsula Daily News

NORDLAND — A state Department of Health official assured his audience that the inner waters of Mystery Bay would remain open to commercial shellfish harvests, but the outer bay would likely be closed later this summer.

“Our plan is to have no classification of the inner bay,” said Bob Woolrich, growing area program manager for the office of shellfish and water protection.

Woolrich made the remarks to about 100 people Monday night in a meeting that brought together state, county and tribal agencies.

The state has been considering reclassifying the Mystery Bay commercial shellfish growing area as prohibited or conditional, which could have led to closure of the inner bay.

There’s more to the story at
http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/article/20090616/news/306169995

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