I was unable to attend the Bio-en CLC meeting on Tuesday, 4 March 2014. Alan Marshall of the Elmira Advocate has kindly given me permission to re-post his meeting notes here.
Last evenings 7 pm. meeting was held in meeting room #1 at the Rec Centre on Snyder Avenue in Elmira. The next meeting is scheduled for the same time and location for April 1, 2014. The biggest change in attendance last evening was the asppearance of three local Ministry of the Environment officials namely Jane Glassco, Amy Shaw and Jackie Lamport. To my surprise the M.O.E. were on the receiving end of a very pointed criticism late in the meeting by Earl Brubacher.
We were advised that the construction is essentially completed. One engine was test fired Monday and the other one yesterday. The power plant should be finished by the end of the week. I’m going out on a limb here but I believe I understood that the digester tanks will be filled by either the middle or the end of this month. Jackie Lamport of the M.O.E. suggested that depending on wind direction Woolwich Bio-En might wish to wait a day or two for favourable conditions before either agitating or filling tanks with odourous material such as manure. Chairman Earl Brubacher politely advised her that they do have a deadline from the Ontario Power Authority of May 4/14 to get into production.
There was a discussion again in regards that a Letter of Credit to the Citizens liason Committee from Bio-En would require them to be either incorporated or somehow a legal entity. Chuck Martin had looked into this for Woolwich Bio-En. it was agreed that Robert Musselman of the CLC would do further investigating of this matter.
Earl Brubacher discussed at length several amendments to the REA (renewable energy act) that Woolwich Bio-En will be seeking. These include the option of selling the gas produced, for use in natural gas vehicles. Arrangements have been made for Elmira Truck Service to be the retailer for Bio-En. Some trucks come from the factory ready to go with natural gas and others require a conversion kit.
Another amendment required deals with another new 250 KW local farm customer. There are also plans for the selling of heat possibly for a future development on 50 acres just to the east of the Bio-En location.
Changes to feedstocks into the process also require REA amendments. Things like paper sludge, industrial/commercial/institutional wastes, wet wheat, elevator grains and even mushroom waste are being considered.
It was at the end of the meeting that the Chair raised his concerns about what he viewed as a “not very ethical” change put into Bio-En’s operating conditions by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. This change was in regard to the number of truck movements on site per day. Earl quoted the number of 80 truck movements per day. As I understand it there are a couple of different ways to interpret 80 truck movements and clearly Earl Brubacher felt that a misinterpretation had taken place. Later in the evening, after the meeting, I received a call from a local citizen who had a different understanding than Earl Brubacher’s. I am hopeful that this issue will be fully aired and clarified sooner than later.
This post was copied from the Elmira Advocate: Woolwich Bio-en Citizens Liaison Committee with permission from Alan Marshall