Sylvan plant byproducts will be closely regulated

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 8, 2006

NATCHEZ &8212; Byproducts given off by a wood-fired electric plant proposed for Adams County will be as closely regulated as any other industry, according to officials with the State Department of Environmental Quality.

Frank K. Peeples, whose Savannah, Ga.-based company would operate the plant on part of the former International Paper mill site, has said the plant would burn 1 million tons of wood waste a year.

Information on how much wood ash and smoke would be given off by the 80-megawatt Sylvan Power plant was still not known as of press time. And Peeples could not be reached for comment Thursday.

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But Brad Mayo, public information officer with MDEQ, said Sylvan will have to apply for an emissions permit before operations begin.

The amount and composition of the smoke the plant would be legally allowed to emit would depend on the size and make of boiler in place at the plant, Mayo said.

&8220;And depending on the type of boiler it is, that (smoke emission) might be regulated by us or by the Environmental Protection Agency,&8221; he said.

Depending on its composition, byproduct could be used as an additive for acidic soil.

But when it comes to ash not used in such a way, one thing&8217;s for sure: it can&8217;t be disposed of at Triad Disposal&8217;s waste site without Triad seeking another permit from the MDEQ.

Wood waste not used at the plant would be taken to Triad&8217;s site just off U.S. 84 east of Natchez if Triad can get an MDEQ permit to accept rubbish from throughout the state.

As it now stands, Triad&8217;s waste site on Old U.S. Highway 84 No. 3 is only permitted to receive Class I rubbish &8212;construction debris, wood and concrete, minus asbestos and most of the metal &8212; from several surrounding counties and parishes only.

But since ash doesn&8217;t fall into one of those material categories, Class I sites can&8217;t accept it and must get another permit to do so.

&8220;The ash must be taken to a municipal or hazardous waste or solid waste facility,&8221; Mayo said.

That means Waste Management&8217;s Adams County landfill could accept the ash without an additional permit, but the county&8217;s other two sites &8212; Triad&8217;s and one owned by GR Disposal &8212; would have to seek permits to accept it.