Biogas?

I’ve been working hard on a couple of projects and so haven’t yet had time to blog about the just past Elmira Maple Syrup Festival.

Though I don’t have time to make a blog post now,

bio-hazards wait for no man person

The community rallied to tell the Woolwich Council how important it was to save Victoria Gen Park. Job well done. It’s terrific to see an environmental success story.

Twilight sun through the trees; there is still snow on the ground

Victoria Glen Park, Spring 2010

But there’s a new threat. It seems that there is a push to locate a BioGas facility pretty much next door to Victoria Glen Park. If it’s as bad as predicted by Elmira’s Ed Speers, who has been doing the research, Victoria Glen Park may still be as beautiful come summer, but once the BioGas operation is up and running people will need to wear a gas mask for a walk in the park.

To the Editor,

The issue of the biogas plant has returned and I thought there were a couple of things that I think should be considered when people think of how to respond to this issue.

A number of years ago I had the opportunity to visit a biogas plant in Markham, a plant very similar in nature to the one proposed by Bio-En for Elmira. The process they used, anaerobic digestion, and the material they handled and the process they used to handle the material, as near as I can tell from available documents, was similar to that proposed by Bio-En. They also used a biofilter as Bio-En is proposing. The most significant memory I have of my visit there is the smell of garbage everywhere. In fact the smell was very strong a kilometer away, as I noticed several times when I was in Markham. I believe this plant has since been shut down.

Secondly, the people who propose to build and operate this facility are proud of the fact that they have been working together for a long time, and indeed they have. During that long relationship they have initiated more than one project in Elmira that has caused grief to the community, often from terrible odours, and they have resisted repeated requests and even demands to correct the problems.

So we have a project that has every potential to be a real stinker being constructed by people who, in the past, have demonstrated that they don’t mind doing that to Elmira, and they’re not particularly responsive to making changes if their project is a problem. Now you can dress up this biogas plant proposal which ever way you want but those are the facts.

Ed Speers
Elmira, Ont.
Letter to the Editor

Kitchen Kuttings

The night before the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival

The proposed plant won’t only affect Victoria Glen Park; the site is close enough to Riverside Public School to have a serious impact on our school children. A great many residences will also be affected. The downtown core will most likely be in easy range. Who is going to want to go through garbage scented air to buy cheese or sausage at Kitchen Kuttings. The smell will likely decrease food purchases from the fledgling Farmer’s Market as well, and may well curtail business at Elmira Donuts & Deli.

Stone path through lush foliage

The Gardens in Summer

Local landscaper Doug Mooder has carefully constructed and maintained what is essentially a life sized portfolio of the kind of work the firm does. In practice this is a privately funded local garden open to anyone caring to take a stroll through the manicured grounds. Called The Gardens, this is a lovely bit of green space for residents and visitors to enjoy. However if biogas smells reach it they might as well fold their tent.

So sad.

Chuck Martin and company, the people proposing the biogas facility at the pet food plant north of downtown, are holding an open house at the Lion’s Hall:

7:00 p.m. Tuesday, April 6, 2010

It’s very worth showing the company and the Ministry of Environment that people here are paying attention.

[Thanks to local environmentalist Susan H. Bryant for the heads up.]

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