Waste-to-energy plant proposed

Residents take aim at Kentucky company’s gasification design

— The gases and ash created from the waste materials are reusable, according to RST. The company claims 25 percent of materials (the resulting ash) is usually sent back to a landfill. The new gasification process was touted by RST as the “technology of the future” that will one day replace landfills altogether, since the byproducts can be used to create concrete and recyclable tin and aluminum.

The facility could potentially process 1,500 tons of waste per day using two lines and produce 50 megawatts of power per hour.

All waste would be transported to the facility by train and river. For the project to move forward the town would need to change a zoning law to allow the plant to be built in the heavy industrial use area and also change an existing law prohibiting the import of industrial waste.

In 2011, a similar waste-to-energy facility said to be using different technology was proposed by a company in Connecticut to the City of Albany to be built on land in the port of Albany. The city’s Department of Development and Planning said the project is no longer being considered.

According to Morelli, an Environmental Impact Statement would be needed for the Bethlehem project with a review from local and state agencies. Public hearings would need to be set in the future and approval from the Army Corps of Engineers would also be needed.

“They said they would like to see the review completed in a year, but that’s a pretty optimistic timeline,” he said. “The process could take years.”

As an incentive, the town would receive not only property taxes but a “community host fee” similar to a tipping fee at landfills.

The town board told Bazzle it would like to see the environmental impact study and any other information associated with building the company’s facility in Kentucky. Bazzle said that could be arranged.

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