Sunday, January 8, 2017

Ancellary materials that provide background for questions for Synagro, Waste Management and Green Knight at informational meetings re: biosolids plant in Plainfield Township

Here are some background materials to preparing for asking questions of Synagro, Waste Management and Green Knight at the January 9 and January 10 information sessions.

The extensive post that these materials support is located here.

Look to the caption of each image on this page or section beneath it for an explanation of what it represents and its meaning.

This Waste 360 April 1, 2001 article (click to be directed to it) is an excellent primer on the Green Knight Energy Center, including that Green Knight expected to sell its waste heat and electricity to consumers in the Slate Belt Industrial Center.

In the article linked to above are these quotes/statements about the plans and intentions of Green Knight Economic Development Corporation (GKEDC):
  • The intent is for the Northampton County Industrial Development Authority (NCIDA) to construct a shell building on the 19 acre Slate Belt Industrial Center (SBIC) property.
  • "The intention is to transmit green power to that industrial park" (SBIC) to attract energy intensive businesses.  Harry Smith, Waste Management Community Affairs Manager
  • "We are just starting to solicit businesses to come to the area" Pete Albanese, GKEDC
  • GKEDC will be able to sell thermal energy to industries that could locate nearby.
  • "Our goals were to bring in a company that has high heat...requirements and also a decent number of jobs." Pete Albanese, GKEDC
  • "Even if we did nothing beyond the power plant, it makes money.  It's gravy if we can find a buyer for the wasted heat."  Mark Messics, Eastern Director WMI landfill gas-to-energy
What actually came to fruition:
  • NCIDA did not build the shell building, a developer did and reaped the profits
  • Techo Bloc bought the SBIC "industrial park" property in 2003, and has no use for the energy center's waste heat
  • Green Knight and Waste Management failed in their goal to bring a heavy user of energy to the SBIC or any other available site nearby that could consume the energy center's waste heat
Now, Waste Management is seeking to revitalize its failed plan to create "gravy", as Mr. Messics refers to it, by violating zoning and locating a heavy user of waste heat with a low number of poorly paying jobs (16, with salaries as low as $35K a year) on its own already used property.

June 5, 2001 Northampton County Council minutes show intent was for one or more consumers of Green Knight Energy Center's waste heat to be located in the 19.3 acre "Slate Belt Industrial Center" - what became Techo Bloc in 2003.  Finding a tenant for this property turned into an act of desperation, so Green Knight could not wait for an energy consumer to come along.  2 lots that were supposed to add to the profit realized were not developed but bought much cheaper as bare land by Techo Bloc.  Techo Bloc had no use for Green Knight's waste heat, so that ruined Green Knight's plan.  Now, they are acting like finding Synagro is the culmination of a concerted 17-year effort, when in fact their plan to sell waste heat was ruined when they could not find a legal consumer of their energy for what became the Techo Bloc property.

The quote above is from John Kingsley, the Executive Director of the Northampton County Industrial Authority, which owned the property known as Slate Belt Industrial Center at the time of these comments.

Today, Green Knight boasts about bringing Techo Bloc to Plainfield Township, but the fact of the matter is Techo Bloc's purchase of the property allowed the county to get out with minimal loss of a mostly failed and unprofitable endeavor.

Green Knight Energy Center Land Development Plan shows "Future Heat Recovery" and newspaper articles and official minutes of Northampton County in 2001 reflect that Green Knight's intent was to sell its waste energy to one or more users in the Slate Belt Industrial Center, approximately 500' north of Green Knight's site, and today owned by Techo Bloc.

Grand Central Landfill owned by Perin family is sold to USA Waste Services, Inc in 1996
Click image to read article

USA Waste Services merges with Waste Management in 1998, Grand Central name retained at Plainfield Township landfill
Click image to read article

Current zoning ordinance article that applies to site targeted by Synagro
There is no solid waste processing provided for in this district

1989 Zoning Map, showing target site was in Farm and Forest at that time - one principal use.
The Solid Waste (SW) district was as it is in 2017, and the only district that permitted Synagro's use.
Thus, there has been no zoning change that Waste Management can argue has limited its use since Grand Central was purchased - in fact, the change from FF to CI increased the number of permitted uses to choose from on its lot

2017 Zoning Map showing proposed site in CI district where one principal use is permitted
and Synagro's use is specifically not listed as a permitted use

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