Sunday, February 28, 2010

you're killing me, ohio

literally. I love ohio. It's a part of me. I feel a real connection to this place, particularly these foothills.

Which is why, perhaps, it hurts so badly to know what Ohio has on it's plate. Ohio is dirty, and getting ready to be dirtier.

Energy- how much we produce and how we do that is what I'm talking about. While there are (sadly) probably more on the table, here's what I have caught wind of for what is has barreling down on Ohio. This is not what I know, but what I hear. Some of this is yet to be seen, just heard from people keeping their ears to the ground. Other things are well underway. And even more things are missing from this list completely.

Starting closest to me and moving clockwise around the state:

Meigs County
(Purple dot): a potential expansion of carbon sequestration into Ohio from WV. This is particuarly bad news as it is creating new coal infrastructure and would likely pave the way for 'clean coal' plants to pop up in Meigs County.

Meigs County (Pink dot): the AMP coal plant has been stopped. But, plans to create energy at that site are still in the works, potentially has biomass or natural gas.

Middletown (green): a coke plant is there, with permits and all. Coke is a form of energy from coal, that is used to create steal. From my limited understanding of it, coke is particularly destructive and has a very high level of public health threat. Luckily, there seems to be local community resistance to the project that has been organizing against the plant.

Clyde (light blue dot): this one seems largely based in hear say, but from the sounds of it, there is a incinerator on its way for the Clyde.

Cleveland (yellow dot): another garbage incinerator, also based largely on what has been heard. The proposal is apparently a pyrolysis incinerator- a type of gasification. It's location inside of Cleveland increased the immediate threat is poses, as more people breath the air in an urban environment- but it's location also makes it accessible to organize against.

Alliance (green dot): another incinerator, with permits. There seems to be little local resistance. I don't really know too much about it.

Wellsville (blue dot): There are well established works for a coal-to-liquid plant there. I don't know much of what that means, bu apparently it is more harmful than a 'regular' coal plant, and the liquid energy goes to things like military jets (increasing the harmful effects no doubt). There seems to be little resistance from the community, and possibly even support, but the funding for the plant may not be there.

Belmont County
(red dot): this one was sort of intentionally saved for last. This isn't exactly a dirty energy source, but a dirty energy result. A slurry impound to be precise. This is one I just heard about late last night, but want to give a little more information about what it is- from my current understanding.

The backstory: Murray Energy (Bob Murray) owns 60% of Ohio's coal production. Murray energy currently has a slurry impoundment near this proposed one, but come mid 2011, it will be full. This becomes problematic for Murray Energy, as they need a way to store all the nasty, toxic, dirty waste from cleaning our coal. These imprisonments contains heavy metals, like mercury and arsenic, which have a way of destroying water sheds. Of particular note is the clean, 'pristine' stream- casey run- is planned to be diverted (being a water source for people, and for an endangered species of salamander). In 2004, Murray Energy applied for a new impoundment and the EPA denied it, but basically formed a committee to find alternatives. From my understanding, this committee was highly political. Several alternatives were suggested, but Murray Energy said they were not economically feasible- with the exception of their original plan.

Currently, another (slightly tweaked) proposal for the impoundment is up. As I understand it, the Ohio EPA sees approving this permit to be outside the law, but they are up against significant political (financial) weight to approve it. If it gets rejected, Murray Energy has apparently said 12,000 miners will loose jobs in the area. It seems this is likely to be true. Which, is what makes this a hard and complicated issue.

There is a hearing scheduled for Tuesday March 30 in Clairsville. It seems it will be a very heated hearing, where both sides are likely to make a showing- and will likely see this issue as a concern of survival.

Here is the Sierra Clubs site with information about it.

I want to fight for Ohio. I want to fight for my right, for my nephews right, to be able to live here and to be healthy while doing so.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your overwhelming enthusiasm and readiness to evoke change. You are so inspiring locally, and I have hope it'll ripple to a more-statewide sort of inspiration if Ohio can harbor enough people like you.
    I love you. Be well!

    Leslie :]