On Dec. 20, an explosion and fire killed three people in the Akron, Ohio, trash-to-energy plant. This plant, with similar technology to the proposed San Marcos trash-to-energy plant, was touted by an Akron official last month as being a safe and well-run plant. Testimony about this "safe" plant was given to the San Marcos City Council as evidence of the inherent safety of trash-to-energy plants.
A UPI dispatch, printed in the Dec. 22 issue of The Times, said in part, "A chemical solvent may have caused an explosion and fire that killed three men and injured eight at Akron's trouble-prone Recycle Energy plant, officials said Friday. The facility has been struck by explosions frequently since it was opened in 1979."
The Akron tragedy again proves that trash-to-energy technology is not safe!
The Environmental Protection Agency in Washington recently revised their rules to extend EPA regulations to cover additional hazardous wastes and bring all 75 dioxins under EPA regulatory control. According to John Skinner, EPA director of hazardous waste, anything used to produce energy or make fuel now will be subject to regulations, as will anything used in a way that constitutes ultimate disposal.
The EPA now has the clear justification to ban the proposed trash-to-energy plant, which, if built, would emit cancer-causing dioxins into the North County air.
Because of the very real dangers, I urge the San Marcos City Council and the EPA to withhold permits for this dangerous and polluting trash-burning plant. WALTER J. SCHNEIDER