Concerns raised over waste-to-energy plant

December 28, 2016

By Adriane Raff Corwin Sierra Club Maui Group Coordinator

Regarding “New ‘digester’ power plant for wastewater facility moves forward” (The Maui News, Dec. 21): The County Council voted to approve a 20-year lease (for $1/year) for Anaergia’s waste-to-energy plant at the Kahului Wastewater Facility.

The Infrastructure and Environmental Management Committee meeting Nov. 28 ran out of time to discuss the proposal. They voted to table the proposal for further discussion in January. So why did outgoing County Council Member Don Couch push for a vote in full council for the lease? What is so urgent that it can’t wait for public input and for the committee to process the request?

Concerns include: 1. The wastewater treatment facility is in a tsunami zone. We will be adding massive infrastructure when instead we should be discussing how to move the plant to a safer location. 2. Over 20 years, the price of generated power can be raised 2.2 percent per year. County officials claim that this will be cheaper considering how much oil may rise in price, but they did not provide comparison to renewable energy sources, which continue to drop in price. We may be chaining ourselves to exorbitant energy prices in the long run. 3. We will lose our existing composting contract with EKO, which combines sludge and green waste. How will the county dispose of our green waste, and how much money will it cost?

The majority of council went against protocol and pushed through a hasty, ill thought-out plan that is bad for Maui’s future.

© Copyright 2016 The Maui News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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