ReGen has finalised EIA terms

| 12/10/2021 | 33 Comments
Cayman News Service
Artist’s rendition of ReGen facilities and GT landfill

(CNS): The proposed ReGen waste-to-energy facility, which will be burning most of Grand Cayman’s garbage when it is finished, has taken a step forward with the completion of the terms of reference for the environmental impact assessment. Despite allegations last week by the opposition that government had missed a key deadline in the contract negotiations, putting the project in jeopardy, the Dart team was at the Health Conference this weekend outlining the current status of the project and how it will cut emissions.

After the opposition made its accusations, Premier Wayne Panton released a statement on Friday stating that the dump deal with Dart, known as the ReGen project, was not dead. However, he said his government was not rushing into an agreement without assessing the sustainability of the contract that the previous government had signed right before the election campaign.

Richard McAree, Dart’s environmental social governance programme manager, gave a presentation about the project on Saturday, titled ‘Clear the air’, in which he spoke about the work to date, what’s happening right now and what the facility will offer in terms of cleaner air and better waste management.

McAree said that ReGen will transform how the country handles its waste and significantly cut Cayman’s emissions while generating around nine megawatts of energy from burning trash. That energy will also replace energy from diesel, adding to the right side of the emissions balance sheet.

Once the remediation of the existing landfill is complete, the project will cut of greenhouse emissions by about 23,000 tonnes per year, which comes from cutting the gases that come from decomposing rubbish, he explained.

He said that government and Dart are still working on the financial close for the project but the ToRs for the EIA were ready, which was an important step. When the EIA studies are done, the statement is expected to go to public consultation early next year, he said.

Thomas Ferrara, one of the scientist contracted by Dart to assess the impact on air quality, explained how the waste-to-energy facility will work and control air pollution. He said the process happens inside the sealed, controlled facility, which cuts emissions by preventing the rubbish from rotting outside. Instead, it is combusting in a controlled environment inside the plant.

The emissions from burning will then be filtered and scrubbed before they are released from the stack, and the plant is expected to meet EU emissions standards. He said the assessment will examine what will go into the facility, how the waste will be processed and the emission scrubbing so they can predict what effect the facility will have on the air in the surrounding area.

Given the current situation, the prediction is that the plant will have significantly less emissions that those currently coming off the dump.

Rosalind Flavell, another air quality consultant working on the EIA, outlined a number of studies that have been undertaken in the UK regarding the impact of waste burning facilities on human health. She said that Public Health England has concluded that modern, well run waste-to-energy facilities present no risk to human health.

The WTE facility is only one part of the ReGen project, as Dart is also promising an education programme designed to reduce the amount of waste we produce, to then reuse what we can, recycle where possible, including scrap metals, and compost before burning what is left.

The deal is a public private partnership and negotiations over the financial side, including what CUC will pay for the energy the plant generates, has taken more than four years and is still not resolved. Dart was selected in October 2017 as the preferred bidder to construct the rubbish burning plant and take on the wider waste management challenge.

In a Facebook post after releasing the official statement on Friday, Panton said the project was progressing but added that his government “did not intend to make any hasty or half-informed decisions”.

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Category: Environmental Health, Health

Comments (33)

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  1. Guido Marsupio says:

    Not wanting to call BS on anyone, but the statement “When the EIA studies are done, the statement is expected to go to public consultation early next year, he [Richard McAree] said” – that EIA will take a minimum of 12 months to complet from when they start it, and they won’t start until…. Well, you see my point.

    • Guess says:

      Guido, there will be many opportunities to call BS on Dart or anyone that you feel deserves the honor before this is over!

  2. Anonymous says:

    same news update recycled since 2016….
    we are on a slow boat to nowhere with this.
    the real inside story is that the project is financially unviable going forward even for dart/cig based limited trash created by 70k population.

    • Anonymous says:

      We can all see the mountain of local WTE feed they’ll need to excavate and chew through for at least a couple years, and more feed from all three islands (all long over-capacity). After that, either the population will need to carry a reduced capacity WTE, or limited imports from somewhere else.

  3. Anonymous says:

    12 @ 8:36pm – Most of the sewage ends up (at some point) at the storage facility on Fort Street, next to the Town Hall!

  4. Anonymous says:

    “Public Health England has concluded that modern, well run waste-to-energy facilities present no risk to human health.” In theory everything looks great! Even perfect!
    ❇️ but at least they could have said “practically no risk” or “ no significant risk”, then it would be at least somewhat believable.

    “ The emissions from burning will then be filtered and scrubbed before they are released from the stack, and the plant is expected to meet EU emissions standards”
    ❇️hmmm, WHO exactly will be in charge of filtering, scrubbing, releasing, meeting EU standards? And who will be monitoring those who will be monitoring emissions?

    The health impacts of waste-to-energy emissions: a systematic review of the literature

    3.8. Conclusion
    We have found a dearth of well-conducted epidemiological studies investigating the health risks of exposure from WtE processes. The limited evidence from the two epidemiological studies, along with HRAs[health impact assessment], LCAs[life cycle assessment] and emissions monitoring studies suggests that the risks to human health from emissions of appropriately designed, properly managed (including feedstock), state-of-the-art WtE incineration plants are relatively lower compared to prevailing alternative waste management practices, including incineration of unsorted waste (without energy recovery) and land fill. Importantly, the waste management hierarchy recommends an emphasis on the reduction of material going to waste before it is re-purposed or recycled, as it is clear that the input waste stream can substantially influence pollutant emissions.[‼️re-read the last part of the last sentence]

    While WtE practice might be a reasonable option for mitigating waste management and energy security issues, its implementation requires proper design, operation, and emissions management (monitoring) and control, as well as ongoing environmental and health monitoring and surveillance to maximise both economic and environmental benefits while minimising health impacts or risks. With respect to planning and design of WtE facilities, it is important [‼️] that health risk assessments supported by comprehensive exposure monitoring, and robust modelling (e.g. detailed emissions modelling plus atmospheric modelling and real population data) be conducted for proposed WtE facilities to ensure that protective measures are optimally designed and emissions criteria appropriately implemented. Furthermore, close attention to health data used and assumptions made for reference doses, exposure duration and frequency, and concentration-response functions, is needed. It is equally important for HRAs and LCAs to include sensitivity analyses to test such assumptions.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Net metering HAS TO BE part of the CUC deal in getting co-gen capabilities from the WTE plant.

    We need Net Metering to part of the solution to smash the CUC monopoly. Seperating generation from distribution is a start.

  6. Say it like it is. says:

    Just wait until we hear how much this “energy” created from the burning process costs after all the infrastructure and related expenses are factored in. It will make CUC’s electricity costs look like a real bargain..

  7. Anonymous says:

    Hopefully the EIA will deal with the atrocious decision – obviously pushed by Dart whose interests this serves- not to mine the dump properly and remove all the toxic and hazardous waste that is polluting and will continue to pollute the ground water.
    Yes, removing it would be dangerous and difficult in its self but it can be done and has been done so in many other countries. Dart just don’t want the smell disturbing their properties at Camana Bay and the proposed new residential development.

    • Anonymous says:

      Turns out that the terms of the RFP were established by CIG however and a bid process carried out on the basis of those terms.

      • A. Nonnimus says:

        The whole thing is a farce. Dart has a shady past and in my opinion is not to be trusted. I personally would not enter any business agreement with him. He didn’t get his less-than-perfect reputation by being lily-white!

    • Anonymous says:

      Cool story bro. Complete and utter drivel but a cool story all the same.

    • Anonymous says:

      removing all the toxic and hazardous waste is the only PROPER way to go. Period.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, it is so much better to let the dump get higher and higher and have plenty more fires over the next three decades. You are brilliant!

    • Anonymous says:

      Their Camana Bay swathe of the island, abuts the solid waste treatment sewage ponds that are directly east of the landfill. Those ponds have always been there since before the property was acquired and cleared. They don’t catch on fire, but they do reek.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Good luck with the DoE Dart! Let’s get this done – finally!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Time to sell and leave Cayman for good. Unless Chernobyl is your dream place

  10. Anonymous says:

    Uh Oh guess Alden and Roy have egg on their faces now!

  11. Anonymous says:

    What happens to the “bad stuff” that is filtered and scrubbed from the emissions? Just wondering!

    • Anonymous says:

      Good question. It needs careful handling and disposal, presumably off island.

    • anon says:

      3.40pm I always wonder where all the sewage pumped out from homes with cesspits ends up – what do these tanker trucks do with it?.

    • Anonymous says:

      Fly ash in Waste-to-Energy plants consists mainly of Air-Pollution-Control (APC) residues, usually mixed with boiler ash. This mixture amounts to 2 to 3 percent by weight of the original waste. It consists of inert, mineral particles, variably soluble salts (for example, NaCl), and heavy metal compounds (of which CdCl2 is readily soluble). The grain size is very fine; thus fly ash is very dusty.

      The finest particles, however, pass on to the APC installation. When the flue gas cools in the boiler, various gaseous compounds—for example, evaporated heavy metals and their compounds, including zinc, lead, and cadmium chloride (ZnCl2, PbCl2and CdCl2), formed from hydrogen chloride (HCl) in the flue gas—condense into particles to form fly ash. Fly ash is either collected on its own, perhaps in an Electrostatic Precipitator (ESP), or together with the reaction products of APC processes.

    • Guido Marsupio says:

      Read the TOR report:
      2.1.14 Residues from the (energy facility) will comprise bottom ash, fly ash and APC residue (APCR). The bottom ash
      will be managed via the proposed Bottom Ash Recycling Facility. The treatment of APCR will be by
      means of a rough terrain concrete mixer truck employed to mix and transfer cement treated APCR to the RWL.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I’m all for it if it’s done properly but burning waste has the potential to emit all kinds of very nasties from heavy metals to dioxins; who will be monitoring emissions?

    • Don’t breathe you might choke on this says:

      DEH??? They’ll will do it from their desks and wet fingers stuck out the windows. They have the mandate to monitor air quality in Cayman, but guess what, they have never ever done any monitoring of our single largest polluter of air quality, CUC. No one has ever performed any sustained long term monitoring of CUC’s stack emissions in the fallout zone, central George Town. It’s another of Cayman’s dirty little secrets.
      There is definitely a strong possibility of some serious irregularities with the operation and monitoring of the facility.
      Dart will most likely contract and pay a private consultant such as GDH to oversee operations and monitor emissions. The conflict of interest will be obvious. Variations in operation that cause emissions over target values will be called “anomalies” most of which will be averaged out to paint a pretty picture of air quality.
      A fully independent consultant needs to be doing the oversight and monitoring. In addition the independent consultant operation and monitoring reports need to be independently scrutinised and audited as Dart will not care, the wind direction is in his favour.

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