Thursday, March 31, 2011

City Confirms Only 21 Days to File Appeal


SOLOMON/SIMPSON MOVING FULL STEAM AHEAD

Submitted to Shelton Blog by Duff Badgley

Mason County Progressive

The City of Shelton has confirmed there are only 21 days from today (March 31, 2011) to file an appeal of the Mitigated Determination of Non-Significance SEPA finding for the proposed Solomon/Simpson biomass project--or be forever barred from appealing the MDNS. If we are barred, any appeal of the air permit issued later by ORCAA would be stripped of including the underlying MDNS, which would greatly reduce our chances of success.


I asked Jason Dose, Senior Planner for the City of Shelton, if the publication in today's Shelton-Mason County Journal of a "Notice of Action" for the Solomon/Simpson MDNS means we have just 21 days to appeal the MDNS in the courts, or be barred from further appeals of the MDNS. He said, "That's my understanding."


However, Dose also confirmed in an email to me today that the city has issued no permits for the Solomon/Simpson biomass proposal, nor has it scheduled any public hearings required by those permit applications.


Dose was unable to reconcile this lack of permits from the city for the Solomon/Simpson biomass proposal with language in RCW 43.21C.075. This statute requires a permit to be issued as "specific governmental action" before the 21 day appeal period for the MDNS can start. RCW 43.21C.075 appears to exclude SEPA findings (the Solomon/Simpson MDNS) as a "specific governmental action".


Regardless of this contradiction, we need an attorney now--or be barred from appealing this egregious MDNS.


Duff Badgley

No Biomass Burn

SHELTON BLOG NOTE:

Link to Simpson/Solomon NOA:
http://myweb.hcc.net/pkands/docs/Simpson_NOA.pdf

NOA also available in blog Reference Documents

Simpson Fast Tracks Proposed Incinerator


CITIZEN ACTION ALERT!

Submitted to Shelton Blog by John Cox

Today's Shelton-Mason County Journal contains a 2nd Notice of Action (NOA) from Simpson (aka Solomon) for their proposed incinerator project.

A "NOA" is a method of fast-tracking a project when you want to limit the ability of a project's opponents to appeal the decision of the SEPA process (RCW 43.21C.080).

In this case Simpson (no surprise there) and apparently the City of Shelton want to limit the ability of air-breathers in this county to protect themselves.

Jason Dose is the City of Shelton's contact for information:

Phone: (360) 432-5102
Email: jasond@ci.shelton.wa.us


We will post more information as it becomes available.

SHELTON BLOG NOTE:

Link to Simpson/Solomon NOA:

http://myweb.hcc.net/pkands/docs/Simpson_NOA.pdf

NOA also available in blog Reference Documents

Global Prayer Call for Japan 3/31 at 12 Noon

WE ARE ALL ONE

Message from Dr. Masaru Emoto:

Let's offer prayers today at noon, March 31st!

I have received a huge feedback from all over the world.

This is the first big movement of prayer where all human beings on the earth will be united for a specific objective.

More than tens of thousands of citizens of the earth will join us. Once again, I would like to ask you please participate and offer your prayers.

With love and gratitude,
Masaru Emoto

PS. When we describe the meaning of Japanese word "Fuku shima (福島)" in English, it is "Lucky Island". Fuku means lucky and shima is island. Let's make the disaster bring good luck!

More details on Dr. Emoto's website:
http://emotopeaceproject.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Downtown Monitoring Site Paperwork Missing?

OH WHERE, OH WHERE, CAN THE PAPERWORK BE?

Submitted to Shelton Blog by John Cox
Mason County Progressive

City of Shelton Administrator Dave O'Leary seems to not be able to find the paperwork that ORCAA sent the City regarding the installation of the new air pollution monitoring site in the Shelton downtown area.

If any of our readers want to volunteer to help Dave find the paperwork or offer suggestions to help Dave find the paperwork, he can be reached at (360) 432-5110.

Just in case Dave is too busy searching to talk to you, his secretary, Vicky can be contacted at (360) 432-5105.

The local air-breathers thank you for your support!

SHELTON BLOG UPDATES:

Maybe
Facilities Director Curt Johnson has the paperwork?
curt@ci.shelton.wa.us.
(360) 426-9731

NO! It seems it's the City Attorney (from Seattle) who has the paperwork for review.

CHECK COMMENTS for latest developments in this ongoing saga.

NEXT CITY OF SHELTON COMMISSION MEETING:
Monday, April 4th, 6:00 PM at the Shelton Civic Center
Come & let the City know how much we want a downtown monitor!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

No Partnership Between Industry & Labor


POST adage SYNDROME (PaS)


Submitted to Shelton Blog by Tom Davis Mason County Progressive

Before we all move on to the next misguided, misunderstood, misconstrued, misinterpreted, misread and misjudged proposal supported by our local elected brainiacs, some questions still remain about adage (they are no longer deserving of upper case status).

1. Who is/was adage? Although they presented themselves as a partnership between Areva and Duke Energy, there is evidence to suggest that adage was/is nothing more than a group of venture capitalists looking to make a killing in the fertile political climate of biomass energy. Surely it was the worst PR effort ever launched; the whole campaign reeked of cheap suits and Aqua Velva.

2. How is it that a corporation that was formed in October of 2009 trotted into town a mere three months later, and was given unprecedented access to everything but an official lap dance? (Remember, these guys hadn’t built so much as a camp stove, much less a 65 MW “fluidized boiler”.) Why did not a single mainstream official wanted to engage in any level of critical thinking when it came to the adage proposal? Why did they not want to address public petitions, health concerns, economic concerns, water pollution concerns, traffic concerns, erosion concerns, tax concerns, road maintenance concerns, quality of life concerns, or even the overall viability of the proposal itself? (Makes me want to take a look at that list of investors.)


3. Why did the Port of Shelton seem so eager to sign a lease option, and negotiate the final lease with adage before ORCAA & SEPA had issued the required permits? Say what you will about Port Commissioner Jay Hupp (I’ll wait till you’re through), but he’s never struck me as a stupid man; arrogant, insensitive and rabid, maybe; personality like a wolverine, to be sure; and disturbingly giddy when it comes to strapping a jet engine to the back of a drag racer, but never stupid. Still, his actions defied fundamental prudent business protocol. Why?


4. Considering that the adage proposal was likely DOA as of December 31, 2010, (when their $75M government subsidy was brought into question), why did they hang on till March? Was it because the proposal and ongoing permit process was the only product they ever successfully produced, and they now intend to sell that position to the next bio-sucker? Will Simpson Lumber pick up the adage ball? Stranger things have happened.


5. And now for the 64 million dollar question: how is that, in the shadow of a near national financial meltdown, with billions in pension funds lost, a real estate market in ruins, and industry giants abandoning America for foreign shores, that we, the public, remain loyal to the imaginary notion that there exists a partnership between industry and labor?

If current events have taught us anything, it is that much of industry would do away with all labor in favor of complete automation, or, lacking that option, employ the cheapest labor “globalization” will allow. In the eyes of multi-national corporations, the American work force is as expendable as the dinosaur, a casualty of the truly open market and collateral of modern business ideology.

It is wise to remember that jobs are incidental to industry profit margins, they are not the objective. Yet, we, the American work force, insist on protecting the very institutions aimed at lowering our wages, destroying our ability to bargain collectively, and exploiting the most vulnerable of our communities by siting within them their most destructive endeavors.

Why we continue to cling to such one-sided relationships is perhaps the biggest question of all.

Monday, March 28, 2011

ADAGE WITHDRAWS SEPA & ORCAA PERMITS

GOOD NEWS!

ADAGE has emailed a notice of withdrawal
from both the SEPA & ORCAA permitting processes.

(The Port of Shelton is still resolving the Option to Lease.)

With your help and support, we have prevailed and the ADAGE plant will not be built! The community will not be subjected to the air pollution, loss of property values, damage to the fishery of Oakland Bay, and over 4000 truck trips a year!

Concerned Citizens of Mason County (CCMC) has incurred the costs of legal representation and expert technical consultants in air engineering in order to respond to the SEPA and ORCAA processes. As you know, CCMC has sued the Port of Shelton because they executed an irrevocable Option to Lease with ADAGE. It did not allow the Port to take into consideration new information discovered in the SEPA process.


CCMC still has work to do. The issue of zoning must be addressed. If zoning is not changed, then we most certainly will be facing a similar threat to our health by yet another polluting plant being proposed for an inappropriate site. This will require coordination with both Mason County and City of Shelton regulators. Public support will be essential.

For long term growth, the lack of political leadership at the County and Port level must be addressed. CCMC will not endorse candidates. We will, however, ask the necessary questions and evaluate a candidate's position. We will share this information with the community so that we all become better informed voters.


CCMC must raise significant funds before we can address new work.

PLEASE COME JOIN THE CELEBRATION!
(Volunteers are planning a wonderful meal and evening for your enjoyment.)

Shelton Spring Foolery
Friday, April 1st

5:30 till 11:00

Shelton Civic Center

Singles $25 - Couples $45

Tickets at the door & at Art Talks

SEE YOU THERE!

Please RSVP to Barb Myers by calling 360-868-2251
or by email at barbiemyersaf@hotmail.com

News released by:
Fran Prescott

Chair
CCMC

SHELTON BLOG:

KUDOS TO OUR COMMUNITY!!!

WHAT IS THERE TO FEAR?

A bad air day downtown Shelton, WA USA

There Has Never Been an ORCAA Air Monitor Downtown

Submitted to Shelton Blog by John Cox
Mason County Progressive

I was reading the Mason County Health Department's document that accompanied ADAGE and Simpson's SEPA (the local government permitting process) documents. In it, Dr. Diana Yu, the Mason County Health Officer, makes the case that our air here in Mason County is not so bad.

Dr. Yu relies on ORCAA and Department of Ecology documents to help make her case. I would tend to agree if you are comparing our air to Tacoma or Seattle. But we are not Tacoma or Seattle. We are in Mason County. One of the reasons we want to live here is that our air is not like Tacoma or Seattle.

There are some very bad air days downtown Shelton in the winter. There are days when our eyes burn and people with asthma are surviving with inhalers, and it stinks. We can't prove it to ORCAA or to Dr Yu, as there has apparently never been an ORCAA air pollution monitoring station downtown.

All of the data that Dr Yu makes use of in her "White Paper" is data collected from the monitor on top of the hospital. I work at the hospital. On the bad days on my way home, as I go down the hill into downtown Shelton, a brown cloud can be seen over the area and it smells foul. It gets worse as I go lower. And by the time I get to the Post Office, my eyes are itching and burning.

Maybe it is just a coincidence that the “bad days” also seem to happen when Simpson is operating their old incinerator. It seems odd to me that in spite of fact that the major existing sources of air pollution in Mason County are downtown, the pollution monitoring station was set up at the hospital. Odd, don't you think? ORCAA has recently said that a new monitoring station will actually be set up downtown. And we know why if it happens. We local “kooks” made an issue of it with ORCAA.

Dr. Yu doesn't come right out and say that the Health Department has no objections to ADAGE or Simpson's new incinerators, but she implies that she has faith in organizations like ORCAA and the Department of Ecology to watch out for us...so no problems.

Well, I would tend to disagree. The ORCAA reviews and SEPA are permitting processes. That means that they are designed to permit. That is their intention and goal...to permit polluting industries to setup shop here. But the industries will be made to jump through a few hoops first though, to make it look like somebody is really looking out for us.

ADAGE is gone, maybe. I'm sure the Port would gladly welcome somebody else to fill ADAGE's shoes. It's that clean air. It is driving them crazy.

Simpson, however, not being satisfied with one incinerator fouling the air, wants another. Unlike ADAGE which made claims of various jobs and other benefits for the community, Simpson can't really do that with their second proposed incinerator because there aren't any. Simpson has stated at a public meeting that the reason for the new plant is to make money selling electricity to somebody, somewhere else. What our community would receive in exchange is tons of new pollution, and a beautiful new tall smokestack right in downtown Shelton.

Simpson has already made a mess of the air in Tacoma and now wants to do the same here. I know! I know, Dr. Yu! ORCAA will protect us, right? The SEPA process will protect us, right? The City of Shelton and PUD3 will protect us, right? With all of these public servants protecting us, what is there to fear? Right?


See you at the City of Shelton Meeting tonight!


Photo of Simpson emissions by Christine

SHELTON BLOG NOTE:

CITY OF SHELTON COMMISSION MEETING
Monday, March 28th, at 6:00 PM

Shelton Civic Center
Let's crowd the room with our MDNS concerns!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

FOR THE NEXT SEVEN GENERATIONS...

Mason County, WA USA

LETTER TO WA STATE GOVERNOR CHRIS GREGOIRE

Dear Gov. Gregoire,

I am writing this with tears in my eyes and faint hope in my heart that you will ever know about this letter and the personal anguish that prompts it. I have spent more than a year working on protecting and improving the environment of Mason County for one reason, my grandchildren...and the next seven generations.

Oakland Bay is the subject of an environmental crime. WA State (me) has paid to study it and clean it up. I don't believe the DOH when they say it is safe to eat shellfish from Oakland Bay, and I expect, in a few years, science will support my suspicions...as so often happens.

Now, after money spent, public relations opinions disseminated, and citizens assured that our government is protecting us by protecting this waterway, the state is permitting a 31 megawatt incinerator/boiler on the banks of Oakland Bay! And we're told to watch our septic systems and not wash our cars!

The hypocrisy stuns me. Is there not something you can do? I've supported your elections, and am proud to be a "Gregoire Democrat"...please take the time to look into this, and let me know why I shouldn't move to BC, Canada.

Thank you.

Connie Simpson,RN
Shelton, WA

Photo by Christine


SHELTON BLOG NOTE:

Contact Gov. Gregoire: http://www.governor.wa.gov/contact/default.asp

A REAL TOURIST ATTRACTION

Submitted to Shelton Blog By Claude

CCMC & IFMC HOSTING APRIL FOOLS PARTY

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Cartoon for the Day

Submitted to Shelton Blog by Claude

MORE ESB 5575 HEARING TESTIMONY

Opposition to Engrossed State Bill 5575

Submitted to Shelton Blog by Terri Thompson Mason County Progressive

March 22, 2011

To the Honorable Members of the House Committee on the Environment,

I am here today to speak against ESB 5575.

The financial crisis in this state, and its appetite for energy credits, should not be waged on the backs of its citizens. RCW 70.94.011 was created to preserve, protect, and enhance the air quality for future and current generations. It does not say…only in good economic times. We must maintain levels of air quality that protect human health and safety, including the most sensitive members of the population. They seem to be the people overlooked in economic, hard times. We must focus on protecting them and the air quality for current and future generations.

If we don’t have our health…we don't have anything...no matter what our economic status. I have a sensitive certification with the State of Washington; meaning that I have reactions to substances in the air such as herbicides, pesticides, etc. Others do also. How will I be notified of these compounds in the air when there is so much uncertainty of exactly what is being burned?

I have read a great deal of information on many of these topics relating to ESB 5575 but have focused mainly on the burning of human waste. Human waste, even after going through a treatment facility, contains a great amount of heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, hormones and mildly radioactive materials…again existing after treatment. Also, everything that goes down the drain, including home, hospital and industrial drains, include other heavy metals, including cadmium and mercury, oils, soaps and solvents, and some medicinal wastes. Many are carcinogenic and some change your endocrine system.

The best control systems can’t remove these horrible toxins into our air supply. Burning simply releases these chemicals back into the environment. Some of these chemicals do what is called a secondary formation; pollutants formed when other pollutants combined emitted into the air. Secondary formation seems to be even more unpredictable during the burning process. Human waste is not the same waste of 100 years go. Our current world is filled with chemicals both consumed and brought into the body, even through breathing impurities, gases, etc...

Do we want to do this to our air supply, or our health? Do we not think that harsh chemicals used during pulping won’t harm us to breathe, even when burned?

It would be naive to image a person hired to pick through demolition and construction debris…knowing what has been treated and what hasn’t. We would be burning harsh chemicals associated with treated wood, and other construction items such as metals, etc. found in the scrap pile.

Yard waste, loaded in chemicals, have a high moisture content making a less efficient fuel plus potential toxins in the air. What we do not see, can hurt us! Some of the most toxic elements in the world are invisible.

I am not sure about burning algae and its toxicity, but do know that Senator Sheldon worked on changing the noxious weed bill so that algae could be grown as a crop. It appears to be listed under this list for a reason. Will it create toxicity when burned…will we increase the spread of these algae forms into our waterways…and how is its energy efficiency, needing to be dried before burned?

Personally, I do not want to breathe these chemicals, pharmaceuticals and hormones. The hormones alone have potential to change our healthy environmental world as we know it, effecting endocrine receptors. They have already proven to change the biological makeup of fish and other wildlife. The potential is very dangerous.

I believe that the people of the state of WA voted for I-937, not realizing that hydroelectric had been removed, but a vote for renewable energy that was clean. We were mislead by legislators and legislation that is now turning this initiative into a filthy, dirty energy initiative in the name of $$$$.

You can burn almost anything…but the real question is …should we? Are we being protected by our permitting processes? How can we be when the same people are sitting on permitting boards that have an agenda to bring dirty energy to our state?

There is also the issue of monitoring. No one or no agency seems to be responsible. Cut backs have affected the process and monitoring is not happening as it should be. I have seen examples of this in Mason County. Why would we risk the health of the people for such a small amount of energy? Laws should be made to benefit the best interest of the people; not simply for the companies and lobbyists that support re-elections!

Also, why are you choosing economically distressed areas? Why would you subject these individuals to added pollutants... the economic gain is not worth the human/environmental risk. Protect their RCW 70.94.011 rights!

On March 11, 2011, the EPA released the fourth version of the National Air Toxics Assessment (NATA), an analytical tool that helps federal, state, and local governments and other users better understanding the potential health risks from breathing pollutants called air toxics. Please read these new assessments and take them into consideration before making such a huge decision to affect our air supply. I have included the fact sheet and summary but more information can be found on the internet.

Thank you for your consideration.

Terry Thompson
Union, WA

SHELTON BLOG NOTE:

Due to the time allotted for oral comments being reduced from 2 minutes to 90 seconds, this statement was not able to be read at the hearing, and was submitted only in writing.

KOCH BROTHERS AND US CHAMBER

Excerpts from:
Koch Brothers and US Chamber:
Polluting Our Earth and Our Democracies
by Bill McKibben

WI Workers and Enviros Everywhere Face Same Enemy

Among other truths made completely clear by the showdown in Wisconsin: the outsized role of the Koch brothers in American politics.

Charles and David, the third and fourth richest men in America, first gained notoriety in the fall, when a remarkable expose by Jane Mayer in the New Yorker showed how they'd funded not only the Tea Party but also the hydra-headed campaign to undermine the science of global warming, all in the service of even more profit for their oil and gas business.

But it was in Wisconsin that the down-and-dirty details of their operation began to emerge -- they'd not only funded the election campaigns of the governor and the new GOP legislature, but also an advertising effort attacking the state's teachers. They'd helped pay for buses to ferry in counter-protesters. We were even treated to the sight of new Governor Scott Walker fawning over them in what turned out to be a hoax phone call. The Kochs are right up there now with the great plutocrats of American history, a 21st century version of the robber barons.

The trouble is, they don't care. And they don't really have to care. Their business is privately held and answers to no one. Last week their spokesman said they would "not step back at all ... This is a big part of our life's work. We are not going to stop." So those of us who care about things like the climate will need to go on tracking them. But we'll also need to pay attention to their ideological twin, the Pepsi to their Koch. It's the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Unlike the Koch brothers, everyone's heard of them. That's because there's a chamber of commerce in almost every town in America -- they're the local barbers and florists and insurance guys, the folks who arrange the annual chili cook-off or the downtown Christmas lights. You know why Lindbergh's plane was called the "Spirit of St. Louis"? Because it was paid for by the by St. Louis Chamber of Commerce.

But that's not the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The U.S. Chamber is a hard-right ideological operation, which provides massive funding to conservative Republicans, including the new GOP majority in Wisconsin. If you want a sense of just how far right: Glenn Beck held a telethon on their behalf, and donated $10,000 of his money. "They are us," he said -- and an executive of the chamber called in to thank him. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce spent more money lobbying in 2009 than the next five biggest players combined; they spent more money on politics than either the Republican or Democratic National Committees. They're the biggest elephant in the jungle.

Despite their claim to represent three million American businesses, more than half their budget comes from just 16 companies. They don't have to identify them, but it's pretty easy to guess who they might be, since the chamber has devoted much of its time to thwarting any effort to control carbon emissions. For instance, they filed a brief with the EPA demanding they not fight global warming because "populations can acclimatize to warmer climates via a range of behavioral, physiological, and technological adaptations."

And here's the thing: Unlike the Kochs, the Chamber has some real vulnerabilities. Though thanks to the Supreme Court they can keep their secret flow of money going, their credibility depends in part on the idea that they're representing all those millions of businesses. That's why we've launched a big nationwide campaign: "The U.S. Chamber Doesn't Speak for Me." Businesses big and small are already joining in -- a thousand in the first week -- making the case that in fact capitalism can adapt to new sources of energy. Capitalism's great virtue, after all, is supposed to be nimbleness and flexibility.

Those of us who work on climate change have spent years trying to figure out why Congress pays no attention to what's clearly the most dangerous issues the earth faces. For years we thought we simply needed to explain the crisis more skillfully. But in the last year the truth is becoming clearer: Hidden in the shadows are the guys with money who pull the strings. We need to illuminate those shadows, with the Kochs and even more with the U.S. Chamber.

Link to complete article: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/11-8

Friday, March 25, 2011

Musings of a Mason County Activist


If only there were agencies who did this work for citizens

Submitted to Shelton Blog by Katherine Price
Mason County Progressive

As I sit at my desk and look out across my neglected garden at the third
hummingbird of the season, I very deliberately do not look at the pile of paper to my right.

It is only 2 inches tall...I measured it; and it only weighs four pounds...I weighed it; but it strikes me as an overwhelming task before I have even begun.

My assignment for the next days and weeks is to review and digest three things:
The Air Operating Permit issued by ORCAA to Olympic Panel Products

The Air Operating Permit issued by ORCAA to Simpson Timber Company

The Mitigated Determination of Nonsignificance issued by the City of Shelton in connection with the proposed Solomon biomass incinerator
I also very deliberately try not to think about the permit application from Simpson/Solomon filed with ORCAA...that document needs to be dissected as well...but not today.

It's too bad I don't live in Olympia. In Olympia the second proposed Simpson incinerator would be subject to a moratorium. But I live in Mason County, where the citizens' right to breathe comes after the corporations' right to make a profit.

Unfortunately for Simpson, there are a lot of smart motivated people who will do everything we can to protect ourselves.

Unfortunately for us, we have to wade through inches and pounds of paper to find the solution to our dilemma...

It would be nice if there were some agency or agencies who did this kind of work for the citizens... maybe an environmental protection agency, or a clean air agency, or a department of ecology, or city planners...

Cartoon for the Day

Submitted to Shelton Blog by Claude

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Simpson Dump Trucks Parading By My House

LETTER TO MASON COUNTY PUBLIC WORKS DIRECTOR CHARLIE BUTROS

Submitted to Shelton Blog by Tom Davis Mason County Progressive

March 24, 2011

Dear Mr. Butros,

I live about eight miles west of Shelton, in Dayton, just off Highland Road, and for the past week or so I’ve been seeing ten yard dump trucks pass my house, sometimes at the rate of one every 2.5 to 3 minutes.

A couple of days ago I followed one of these trucks, - filled with what looked like small diameter rock (maybe ¾ minus), from the Simpson’s gravel pit, located about a mile south of my house - to the Mason-Benson Lake area, where it turned onto a logging road. I clocked the distance at 26.3 miles, one way, and followed the truck back on its return trip to the pit, just to make sure.

What struck me was that these trucks seem to be taking a somewhat roundabout route, both directions: North on Highland; East on Airport Rd.; North on Hwy. 101; East on Brockdale Rd.; (South at the “T”); East on McEwan Prairie Rd.; and then about eight miles north on Mason Lake Rd. to the logging road entrance.


As stated above, this steady parade of dump trucks has been going on for about a week; some seem capable of the task, others appear to have escaped from the scrap-iron heap, and leave a thick cloud of diesel smoke in their wake. So here are my questions:
1. Are there any pollution emission standards that apply to these trucks?
2. Have you any information about how long SImpson will need to utilize this caravan of dump-trucks?

3. Does such excessive usage translate to higher fees for wear and tear of County maintained roads, and/or was there a special usage permit issued?

Thank you for any answers you might be able to provide. Toward that end, a copy of this email is being sent to: Dave McEntee, Vice President, Operational Services and External Affairs, Simpson Lumber Company, LLC

Very truly yours,

Tom Davis
Mason County, WA

DOE SEDIMENT INVESTIGATION REPORT

Excerpt from:
Oakland Bay Sediment Investigation

SITE DESCRIPTION

As part of Governor Gregoire’s efforts to restore the health of the Puget Sound, Ecology’s Toxics Cleanup Program is investigating sediment pollution in seven Bays. These bays include Oakland Bay, Budd Inlet, Port Angeles Harbor, Port Gardner, Port Gamble, Fidalgo and Padilla Bays, and Dumas Bay. The goal is to locate and clean up contamination to protect and maintain sustainable use of valuable natural resources.

Ecology chose Oakland Bay because Shelton Harbor has a history of heavy industrial use and previous studies have provided evidence of contamination. In addition, Oakland Bay is one of the most productive shellfish growing areas in the country. Industrial uses of Oakland Bay resulted in sediment contamination in Shelton Harbor and surrounding areas. Chemicals, woodwaste, and waste water from timber and wood product manufacturing industries have been discharged into Oakland Bay.

Previous investigations revealed the presence of several contaminants above state standards including; metals, semi-volatile organic compounds, petroleum products and wood waste contamination. Early actions in embayments throughout the Puget Sound will contribute significantly towards overall restoration efforts. Ecology’s work will help with efforts to restore the health of the Sound by 2020.

Link to complete report and documents:
http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/tcp/sites/oaklandBay/oaklandBay_hp.htm#Sediment_Investigation_Report:

MARCH EPA TOP STORIES OF INTEREST


FROM EPA NEWSROOM

Submitted to Shelton Blog by Terri Thompson


EPA Proposes to Defer Biogenic CO2 from GHG Permitting Requirements and Issues Guidance for Bioenergy BACT (March 14, 2011)
Pursuant to its announcement earlier this year, EPA proposed to defer carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from bioenergy and other biogenic stationary sources from Clean Air Act permitting requirements. The proposal would defer permitting requirements under the Act’s Prevention of Significant Deterioration and Title V programs for three years while the agency conducts a “detailed examination of the science” associated with CO2 emissions from bioenergy and other biogenic sources. EPA will accept comments on the proposal for 45 days after publication in the Federal Register. In a related action, the agency issued “Guidance for Determining Best Available Control Technology for Reducing Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Bioenergy Production.” The guidance is intended to assist permitting authorities in determinations regarding the use of biomass fuel as Best Available Control Technology until EPA takes final action on the proposed deferral. Click here for further information.

EPA Releases 2005 NATA Data to the Public (March 11, 2011)
EPA has released the 2005 National Air Toxics Assessment (NATA) data, making it available to the public on the agency’s website. NATA uses emissions inventory data and modeling to estimate exposure and risk related to emissions into the air of 177 hazardous air pollutants and diesel particulate matter (PM). The risks are presented as both cancer and non-cancer risks (diesel PM is assessed for non-cancer health effects only). This most recent NATA release shows, among other things, that out of 66,000 census tracts across the country, 3,100 had cancer risks above 100 in a million. Nationwide, almost 45 percent of cancer risk was associated with exposure to formaldehyde and 15 percent to benzene. Seventy-five percent of the non-cancer risk was associated with exposure to acrolein.

Link to EPA website: http://www.epa.gov/

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

EMAIL FROM JASON DOSE, CITY PLANNER


City of Shelton Issues Final Sepa Determination
Re: Simpson (Solomon) Biomass Cogeneration Facility

Good Afternoon.

You are receiving this e-mail because you have either expressed an interest in the Simpson (Solomon) Biomass Facility proposed on the Oakland Bay waterfront in Shelton Washington or you have submitted comments on the proposal or added your name to our notification list at the Public Informational Meeting regarding the proposal held on September 23, 2010.

The City of Shelton has issued a Final SEPA Determination regarding the proposed Simpson (Solomon) Biomass Cogeneration Facility to be located on the Simpson Lumber Mill site along the Oakland Bay waterfront in Shelton, Washington. Official public notice will appear in the Shelton Mason Journal and will be mailed to agencies with jurisdiction as well.

The determination and its attachments may be found by visiting the City of Shelton website at: http://www.ci.shelton.wa.us/. Scroll down on the front page to "In the News and In the Works" and there are a series of bullet points under the header "Simpson Lumber Shelton Biomass Cogeneration SEPA Determination - NEW March 24, 2011" which contains the SEPA documentation.

The required public hearing and hearing date for the proposal has not been set. The City of Shelton will provide separate legal notice when a date has been established.

Please contact me should you have questions or have trouble accessing the documents on the City's website.

Jason Dose
Senior Planner
City of Shelton
525 West Cota Street
Shelton, WA 98584

Phone: (360) 432-5102
FAX: (360) 426-7746
Email: jasond@ci.shelton.wa.us


SHELTON BLOG NOTE:

MDNS & attachments on City of Shelton website: http://www.ci.shelton.wa.us/

City of Shelton Commission Meeting
Open to the Public
Monday, March 28th at 6:00 PM
Shelton Civic Center

SB 5575 Hearing 3/22/11 Citizen Testimony

SB 5575.E - DIGEST
(AS OF SENATE 2ND READING 3/03/11)
Promotes the generation of renewable energy from pulping liquors and biomass in economically distressed communities.

Prohibits the utilities and transportation commission,
from January 1, 2011, until December 21, 2013, from considering the act in any proceeding concerning a company's decision to acquire or construct an eligible renewable resource.
Opposition to Engrossed Senate Bill 5575

Submitted to Shelton Blog by Tom Davis Mason County Progressive

To whom it may concern:

The siting of biomass fueled energy plants in depressed communities tends to undermine precisely the economic stimulus they purport to create, and legislation designed to accommodate such ventures serve only to deter other, more viable recovery efforts, and here’s why:

  1. Biomass fueled plants increase local economic dependency on the wood products industry. Historically, even large economies based on a single industry have proven to be innately unhealthy, as they tie themselves to market demands of closely interrelated products. Consider the cities of Detroit and Flint, Michigan, or any of the other 20 cities recently voted as places you want to avoid; in some of them you can now buy a home for as little as $200, simply to get back on the tax rolls.

  2. Additionally, less desirable industry tends to site their facilities in depressed communities, promising jobs and by extension, economic recovery. But such ventures typically bring only a small number of low paying jobs with little opportunity for advancement. Moreover, they tend to discourage more suitable business opportunities, such as tourism, organic farming, retirement destinations, residential development and other small business enterprise. In the long term, the net result of siting environmentally and esthetically intrusive facilities in depressed communities is to hold them in cycles of poverty.

  3. As is the case with Engrossed Senate Bill 5575, the very fact that this body deems it necessary to consider legislation aimed at broadening the scope of acceptable fuels is proof, in and of itself, that the biomass to energy model lacks a level of economic viability that allows it to stand on its own merits, and patching up a poor business plan with accommodating legislation only deters a better plan from being implemented.

In conclusion, it is far more reasonable to support methods of economic diversity in depressed communities than to pass legislation that encourages dependency on the fortunes of a single industry, especially one that has failed to measure up to a workable standard.

And it is for these and other reasons I am opposed to Engrossed Senate Bill 5575.

Thank you,


Tom Davis

Real Estate Investor
Mason County, WA

Letter to WA House Environmental Chairman


Opposition to Engrossed Senate Bill 5575

Submitted to Shelton Blog by Connie Simpson
Mason County Progressive

To: Dave Upthegrove, Chairman
State of Washington House of Representatives
Environmental Committee

Dear Rep. Upthegrove,

I oppose ESB 5575 on the following grounds:

  • Poor communities need more over-sight protection than more wealthy communities. It is a fact that 'dirty' industry often ends up in disadvantaged, under-educated communities whether this is because industry targets these communities or because wealthier communities are able to invite, oppose or direct which industries set up shop.

  • I believe the citizens of Washington did not vote to have renewables in the mix of energy sources so that industry could, later, add on obviously dirtier sources. I-937 should not be tampered with.

  • As a medical professional for 30 years, I know the dangers of inhaled emissions first hand. The physicians of our State have written County Commissioners in Thurston and Mason Counties to oppose the siting of new biomass incinerators. This implies that the emissions from any boiler, burner, incinerator are dangerous to human health. If I had known about this bill in time, I would have worked to have our Medical Society speak out on this specific bill. Children cannot vote, and yet, they are among the most adversely affected by inhaled emissions including particulate material.

  • The 'black liquor' the industry is so keen to use is among the most polluted of substances. I believe we should rely on non-industry scientists to explain the dangers of combusting these materials. And, we should avoid being rushed into placing this substance on the list of 'sustainable or green or harmless' materials to be included in a clean energy definition.

  • Biosolids are not filtered for dangerous toxins from medical waste. Many cancer patients use extremely toxic medicines which may be disposed of by flushing. These and other drugs such as steroids and antibiotics remain in the biosolids and no one has assured me that their incineration does not contribute to the toxins emitted from smoke stacks.

  • Construction waste is rarely separated, and, without over-sight from the WUTC, who polices the industry? Who searches the loads of waste dumped into the piles of material to be incinerated? Would the fox, again, be guarding the hen house?

  • And, if the list of materials the industry can burn is expanded to a few communities-- a few boilers now, will that just be a crack in the gate for the many other incinerator/boilers in our State? I think history would say yes.

Poor communities need more oversight, not less. Inhaled emissions are hazardous to human health and the environment. The voters did not expect this end run around their wishes to provide this state with safe energy sources.

On these grounds, I urge you to vote against ESB 5575.

Thank you for your attention to this matter, and I will be sending a like letter to my representatives.

Sincerely,


Constance Simpson RN

Shelton, WA

SHELTON BLOG NOTE:

CONTACT:

Rep. Kathy Haigh:
(360)786-7966
kathy.haigh@leg.wa.gov

Rep. Fred Finn:
(360)786-7902
fred.finn@leg.wa.gov

Sen. Tim Sheldon:
(360)786-1999
sheldon.timothy@leg.wa.gov

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

MDNS: MITIGATED OR MANIPULATED?

IS OUR HEALTH NOT SIGNIFICANT?

Submitted to Shelton Blog by Katherine Price Mason County Progressive

Shortly, as early as tomorrow, those who have requested to be kept informed by the City of Shelton will receive an email from the City in connection with the proposed Simpson/Solomon second biomass incinerator proposed for the Shelton Harbor. The email will have links to the documents the City has prepared. The acronym for those documents is MDNS, which stands for "Mitigated Determination of Non-Significance."


At first blush, this makes my head spin, as in "Determination of Non-Significance". However, I am not sure what the "mitigated" part means and, of course, I have not seen the documents yet.

Webster's defines mitigate as: "to cause to become less harsh or hostile; to make less severe or painful." Therefore, perhaps we ought to take hope that the "mitigated" part of the determination of non-significance may be pleasing to the air-breathers...and then again, on this very blog I have seen pigs fly.


So, while I am a "Pollyanna" at heart, I am still suspicious.


The City is having a meeting on Monday, the 28th, at 6:00 p.m. It is a study session and I don't imagine that Simpson/Solomon is on the Agenda. However, once we have digested the MDNS, we may wish to attend that hearing to (a) thank the City for the mitigation, if that is indeed going to make the new incinerator "less hostile or painful"; or (b) to share our thoughts with the City as soon as possible after having an opportunity to review the MDNS.


Having just cleared my dining room table of piles of paper in connection with ADAGE, I suppose it is is only fitting that now I can cover it again with the MDNS documents.


Our work continues, air-breathers, sharpen your pencils and get your highlighters out...again.

CIVIL ENGAGEMENT WORKS

Excerpts from Olympian Editorial:
Scuttled projects illustrate the power of determined people

Civic engagement works.

People in South Sound can, and are, making a difference in their community by opposing projects they perceive to be bad for the environment and their quality of life.

We saw that last week when Adage LLC, a Pennsylvania-based company, pulled the plug on a controversial plan to build a wood-burning power plant near Shelton. And before that, we saw the power of citizen activism at the local level when south Thurston County residents banded together to oppose a proposed rail yard logistics center near Millersylvania State Park.

Both projects, huge in scope, were scuttled in large part by opposition from organized, powerful, grassroots efforts against them. And both projects show that residents can make a difference in public policy decisions, especially if they are willing to devote the time, energy and – yes – financial resources, it takes to scuttle a project.

It’s no easy task, but it can be done.

Adage officials downplay the role opponents had in bringing down the $250 million project – which would have turned 600,000 tons of forest wood debris into electrical energy sufficient to power 40,000 homes. What was hailed as a green energy project in February 2010 quickly drew the wrath of a sizable number of Mason County residents who questioned the project’s potential effect on forest health and air quality.

Company officials said a weak market for renewable energy – not project opposition – scuttled the project. “It was 100 percent about the lack of a market for the energy,” Adage spokesman Tom DePonty said. “We were well on our way to securing permits and a fuel supply for the project.”

We give more credit to opponents.

They shined the public spotlight on the project and its potential harm. They staged protests, sponsored educational forums, wrote letters, spoke out and pressed local elected officials to join their cause. It was grassroots organizing and lobbying at its best.

“This is a victory for the citizens of Mason County,” said Concerned Citizens of Mason County spokeswoman Beth McBain. “People looked at the science and did the research. They determined it was not a project we wanted in our community.”

What impressed us was the amount of time and research opponents expended. They were not willing to accept Adage’s information on face value. Opponents contended that the so-called “green” plant would have generated about 550,000 tons of greenhouse gas carbon dioxide a year and nearly 100 tons of particulate matter. They questioned the plant’s impact on people with heart and respiratory problems, especially infants, pregnant women and the elderly.

While Adage officials say the failure to come up with a power purchaser was “100 percent” responsible for the demise of the project, we have to believe that united citizen opposition at every turn certainly played a pivotal role in the end result.

Thousands of South Sound residents were better informed about the down-side to the project because of the efforts of determined opponents...

What these, and other examples show, is that South Sound residents can unite to successfully defend the quality of life in their neighborhoods — if they are willing to devote the time and energy necessary to oppose a project.

Link to complete article:
http://www.theolympian.com/2011/03/22/1588252/scuttled-projects-illustrate-the.html#ixzz1HMUKuVqW

Monday, March 21, 2011

Cartoon for the Day

Submitted to Shelton Blog by Claude

HEDGES: Marching Toward Self-Annihilation

Excerpt from:
This Time We're Taking the Whole Planet With Us
By Chris Hedges

Globalization is the modern articulation of the ancient ideology used by past elites to turn citizens into serfs and the natural world into a wasteland for profit. Nothing to these elites is sacred. Human beings and the natural world are exploited until exhaustion or collapse. The elites make no pretense of defending the common good. It is, in short, the defeat of rational thought and the death of humanism.

The march toward self-annihilation has already obliterated 90 percent of the large fish in the oceans and wiped out half of the mature tropical forests, the lungs of the planet. At this rate by 2030 only 10 percent of the Earth’s tropical forests will remain. Contaminated water kills 25,000 people every day around the globe, and each year some 20 million children are impaired by malnourishment. Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is now above the 350 parts per million that most climate scientists warn is the maximum level for sustaining life as we know it. [Editor’s note: The preceding sentence has been revised since this article was first published here.]

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates that the measurement could reach 541 to 970 ppm by 2100. At that point huge parts of the planet, beset with overpopulation, droughts, soil erosion, freak storms, massive crop failures and rising sea levels, will be unfit for human existence.


Link to complete article:

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/this_time_were_taking_the_whole_planet_with_us_20110307/

Saturday, March 19, 2011

POST MORTEM PORT MEETING 3/15/11

Submitted to Shelton Blog by Christine Armond Mason County Progressive

IN THE AFTERGLOW OF ADAGE'S EXIT


25 people gathered in the Port of Shelton Commissioners'
Chambers for the 1st meeting since the demise of ADAGE.

Public comments pertaining to Agenda items did not take
place as there were no items on the Agenda. (The open public
comment period occurred as usual at the end of the session.)



In lieu of no Agenda items, Commissioner Jack Miles suggested that
the Portside newsletter be discussed: "Why didn't
it come to me for
input; where was it printed; & why was it mailed out of Albany, Oregon?"

(No answers forthcoming from Hupp, Wallitner or Dobson)


Al Frey, Port Maintenance & Environmental Manager,
talked about being in the Narita Airport for 72 hours
during
the Japanese earthquake, & mentioned
the "common bonding"
that took place between everyone
there. He then went on
to explain the Port's emergency response planning.



John Cox: "There are 3 commissioners chosen by the voters.
If one of them is deliberately kept out of the process of governing
the Port, then it is also the will of the voters that is being disregarded.
How do you justify that?" (No answers forthcoming)


Tom Davis: "The mission of the Port is important. Has the
mission of the Port changed? If so, when
did that happen?
The port is a municipality, not a business like the EDC."

(It would be looked into)


Terri Thompson: "According to an ORCAA representative,
ADAGE is trying to find another business to assume their role.
Would this business be able to buy into the lease agreement?"



Commissioner Jay Hupp: "Yes, if both parties agree.
(ADAGE & the Port of Shelton)



Executive Director John Dobson: "The ultimate decision
to terminate the lease option is up to ADAGE....As of now,
the
Option to Lease Agreement is legally binding & in place."


Commissioner Tom Wallitner: "If ADAGE can't
put together that biomass plant here, nobody can!"



Pat Vandehey: "Being informed gives our community
the power to
have a say in what will or will not happen."


Erik Soper requested a report on funds
brought
in by the Port's airport & marina.


After Commissioner Jack Miles applauded the community's efforts
to stop ADAGE (saying he was not convinced it was just about the
economy), the meeting was recessed at 3:00 pm for Executive Session
.

Photos by Christine