Concerned

United States

#163 Mar 30, 2010
"I don't even want to talk about it because I'm so (expletive deleted)," Peloquin said when I called him Friday.
But it wasn't long before he was talking a lot.
"This is a project that would have generated jobs and millions of dollars for the suburbs," Peloquin said.
"It would have created a renewable energy source from waste products.
"And this bill would have done nothing more but give us the right to join together to seek out funding and explore the project further."
According to Peloquin, Rita told his fellow committee members to kill the legislation.
"He said it was four blocks from his mother's home and it's closer to a mile away," Peloquin said, noting the plant would be built on a landfill near 123rd Street and I-57.
"He said no one wanted it out here. Well, there are six mayors who want it out here.
"I had an agreement with him to work together on some things, but as far as I'm concerned, we're done politically. I'm just that mad."
I asked Peloquin how he had learned about Rita's impact on the committee and he told me Davis, the sponsor of the bill, had told him about it.
"Yes, I would say Bobby Rita killed the bill," Davis said. "He certainly did."
Davis then repeated the same report about Rita that I had heard from Peloquin and Kitching.
"He said he wanted to be involved in meetings and wasn't invited," Davis said.
"We had meetings with ComEd, the attorney general and lawyers representing the mayors to make sure this legislation was legal," Davis said.
"(House Speaker) Michael Madigan gave us the services of a lawyer to help write the language of the legislation.
"If I had known Rep. Rita was interested, I would have invited him to those meetings."
The mayors of Alsip and Blue Island told me that Rita never indicated any interest in the bill or the waste-to-energy plant until he moved to kill the legislation.
How big was Rita's impact on the final vote?
"Only two (of the 13) members of the committee voted for it," Davis said. "I never realized Bobby Rita had that kind of influence before this."
When I asked Rita if he was responsible for killing the bill he said, "Absolutely.
"They can't tell me who is behind this, who would build it or even what it would burn?" Rita said. "It could burn nuclear waste and produce chemical toxins.
"They just keep saying it will mean millions of dollars. But this would be the first-of-its-kind facility in North America, and I don't want to jeopardize the safety of the residents of Blue Island or any other nearby suburb just for money.
"Look what happened in Crestwood," Rita said, referring to contaminated drinking water in that suburb.
"He's lying," Peloquin said. "The plant could only burn municipal waste and used tires. That shows he didn't even read the final version of the bill.
"And we don't have the answers to his questions. That's why we wanted to form this group.
"We want to go out and do the research, hold public hearings, work with the EPA and determine who is best suited to build this facility.
"Listen, he did this because he doesn't like me. He wants to be the king. This isn't his bill, so he's going to kill it.
"But we're not done. We'll keep working on it. It's the right thing to do."
Concerned

United States

#164 Mar 30, 2010
Vaporizing garbage in the south suburbs
March 30, 2010
BY PHIL KADNER
So I'm sitting in the office of Alsip Mayor Patrick Kitching watching a CD about a futuristic garbage disposal system and wondering if anyone would buy into this.
Anyone, that is, except Kitching and the mayors of Blue Island, Calumet Park, Midlothian, Posen and Robbins.
To say that Kitching is enthusiastic about the project would be an understatement. He believes that a plasma arc gasification plant, which would vaporize garbage at 7,000 degrees, could solve all sorts of problems for the south suburbs.
"It would create hundreds of jobs and dozens of new industries," Kitching said. "It would generate millions of dollars in new revenue for each of the suburbs involved. It would reduce the cost of disposing of municipal waste in the south suburbs to almost nothing. It would reduce pollution and the need for landfills.
"It would generate low-cost electricity for the industries in my town, which means they would stay here instead of moving out. New industrial plants would consider moving here due to the low cost of energy.
"We could sell the glass-like slag byproduct for street paving and construction use. We could convert all the garbage trucks in the area to run on hydrogen that could be bought at the plant when they drop off their garbage."
Kitching goes on and on, and I can't keep up with him.
And I keep thinking dreams and reality often don't match up.
The sort of plant the six mayors want to build has never been constructed in North America, although there are plans for smaller facilities in the United States. There are two plasma arc gasification plants operating in Japan, primarily burning medical waste.
Concerned

United States

#165 Mar 30, 2010
...cont'd...
The technology isn't new and has been used in steel mills for nearly 50 years. The idea of using it to vaporize garbage, however, is fairly recent.
"If we don't do this now, I guarantee Waste Management or some other company like it will be building these things all over the place, making billions of dollars and charging us as customers," Kitching said.
As I wrote in a column on Sunday, the six mayors want to form a consortium to seek developers for the project and raise money to build the plant, which would be on an existing landfill near 123rd Street and Interstate 57 in Blue Island.
"There are high-tension wires we can tap into for electricity, and we could get a railroad line in there to bring garbage in from the East Coast," Kitching said. "You need a steady stream of garbage to keep the plant operating and profitable. That won't be a problem."
State Rep. Robert Rita (D-Blue Island) stopped the plan in Springfield. He has concerns about the technology, about the people who might eventually run the plant and its impact on the environment.
"I talked to Rita and said all six mayors were willing to sit down with him and explain the project," Kitching said. "He never got back to me. I don't know what his problem is."
Blue Island Mayor Don Peloquin thinks he is the problem. Rita and Peloquin don't get along.
"People keep saying that governments have to be innovative," Kitching said. "They say we need to work together to cut costs, and that's what we're doing here. And then we just don't get the help we need.
"We're not asking the state for a dime. We just want an opportunity to create a new industry, jobs, generate millions in new revenues and we can't get the support we need."
It wasn't long ago, I reminded Kitching, that backers of a large incinerator in Robbins made the same sorts of claims.
That plant never did achieve its goals - in part because the Legislature repealed a law that provided financial incentives for incinerator projects and in part because the developers seemed to have overestimated their ability to make money.
It eventually shut down after a few years and only recently got approval to start up as a wood-burning incinerator.
I do not have the scientific knowledge to understand the technical aspects of the plasma arc plant or the business acumen to project its chances of success.
Kitching tells me that the University of Chicago, among others, has pledged to offer technical assistance.
And he claims if the six suburbs are allowed to form an organization, hire experts and hold public hearings, all of the benefits and potential problems will be aired publicly.
"We just want the ability to go out and study this issue thoroughly, and to do that we need an intergovernmental agreement, approved by the state," Kitching said.
It's easy to be cynical about this sort of grand scheme.
On the other hand, citizens keep demanding that elected officials do something to create jobs and decrease taxes.
This idea may be pure garbage. Then again, there's a lot of money to be made in garbage these days.
BI Res

United States

#166 Mar 30, 2010
On the campaign trail and in the Illinois statehouse, politicians woo us by pledging allegiance to "jobs, jobs, jobs." But not Bobby Rita & co.!! Not only is he incapable of finding jobs, but when a coalition of leaders, state government, and world-class educational institutions puts together a plan such as this, although he didn't have the time and energy to show up for the meetings to discuss and mitigate any concerns, he certainly had time to pull his own coalition together downstate to fight this effort.

As a state legislator, he did nothing to fight the state IDOT mandate to put the big dividers in the road, nor did he work with the Walgreens and Jewel corporations to stop that or to stop the Jewel from leaving town. He is simply warming a seat to move the agendas of those in power toward fruition :-P

Gotta luv our southside Rod B!!

I smell money for Bobby-no one works that hard for a negative effort unless there's something in it for him!!

Perfect is the enemy of good. There are many other municipalities who have passed up a less than perfect deal because it didn't fit their image.
Whoa here

Rockford, IL

#167 Mar 30, 2010
I'm glad that Rita oppossed it. Think now! Donny takes a garbage dump and makes it into a golf course. Now he wants to take Blue Island and make it into a garbage dump! Duh!!!!
And if they do build it, let the 6 mayors who want it perch their pretty little houses tight next to it.
Lee

Gilman, IL

#168 Mar 30, 2010
Whoa here wrote:
I'm glad that Rita oppossed it. Think now! Donny takes a garbage dump and makes it into a golf course. Now he wants to take Blue Island and make it into a garbage dump! Duh!!!!
And if they do build it, let the 6 mayors who want it perch their pretty little houses tight next to it.
What pretty little house? The pretty house that's been devalued except the taxman hasn't gotten the word yet and I’m still paying Cook County like I’m living in the Taj Mahal? My pretty little house with pot-holed streets and bad sewers since the city infrastructure is falling apart with falling tax revenues? My pretty house next to all those abandoned pretty houses with all the remaining families doubled, and tripled up since they lost their pretty little houses and in many cases, their jobs? If this initiative created ten new jobs for the south suburbs, it would be worth it. Would I perch my pretty little house next to a potential cash cow? You bet.
Whoa here

Rockford, IL

#169 Mar 30, 2010
Concerns
Numerous municipal plasma arc gas plants (see above) are currently in development, including one for the city of Los Angeles. Practical (limited use of land space for landfills), technological (large-scale use of technology versus small-scale, e.g. plasma arc is currently favored as a means to destroy medical and hazardous waste), logistical (transportation infrastructure requirements) and budgetary considerations can affect the viability of individual projects. It is important to note that no municipal-scale waste disposal plasma arc facilities have as yet been constructed, which could present a considerable technological and budgetary challenge to even the largest municipalities.

An issue regarding plasma systems that rely on high temperatures for processing is in the life of their liners. The liner is an important aspect of separating the high interior temperatures of the plasma system from the [metal] shell of the plasma container. Liners are highly susceptible to both chlorine attack and to local variabilities in [high] temperatures, both of which would be found with typical municipal waste systems, and are not likely to last more than a year in service.

This concern can be addressed by using the method demonstrated at the Trail Road Plant in Ottawa, Canada, which requires lower temperatures and a more robust material (brick) for a liner instead of the expensive and fragile metal.

if you google "Plasma arc waste disposal" you will read that it's a challenge even for the largest municipalities and usually the service lasts no longer than a year
Carol

AOL

#170 Mar 30, 2010
10 Reasons Why Gasification, Pyrolysis & Plasma Incineration are Not “Green Solutions”
Reason #1: When compared to conventional mass burn incinerators, staged incinerators emit comparable levels of toxic emissions.
Reason #2: Emissions limits for incinerators (including mass burn, gasification, pyrolysis and plasma incineration) don’t ensure safety. Also, emissions from incinerators are not measured sufficiently and thus overall emissions levels reported can be misleading. In addition, emission limits are not always adequately enforced.
Reason #3: Gasification, pyrolysis and plasma incinerators have a dismal track-record plagued by malfunctions, explosions and shut-downs.
Reason #4: Staged incineration is not compatible with recycling; gasification, pyrolysis and plasma incinerators compete for the same financing and materials as recycling programs. Incineration also undermines efforts to minimize the production of toxic and unrecyclable materials.
Reason #5: Staged incinerators are often even more expensive and financially risky than mass burn incinerators.
Reason #6: Incinerators inefficiently capture a small amount of energy by destroying diminishing resources. Gasification, pyrolysis and plasma incinerators are even less efficient at generating electricity than mass burn incinerators.
Reason #7: Incinerating discarded materials depletes resources and in many cases permanently damages the natural environment.
Reason #8: Staged incineration technologies contribute to climate change, and investment in these technologies undermines truly climate-friendly solutions.
Reason #9: All types of incinerators require a large amount of capital investment, but they create relatively few jobs when compared to recycling and composting programs.
Reason #10: Wasting valuable natural resources in incinerators and landfills is avoidable and unnecessary. The vast majority of discarded resources can be reused, recycled or composted.
Rick Rude

Chicago, IL

#171 Mar 30, 2010
"There are high-tension wires we can tap into for electricity, and we could get a railroad line in there to bring garbage in from the East Coast," Kitching said.
What a moron to saying something like this...I'd like to thank Rep. Rita for listening to the people. We don't want this beast anywhere around our area. It's very disturbing to hear these Mayor's whine over something so dangerous. Don Peloquin state's "It will burn tires" and now this guy Kitching wants garbage from the East Coast to come through OUR town for burning..
Tilly rotten crouch

Chicago, IL

#172 Mar 30, 2010
Medical supplies, Tires, East coast garbage and Casa's panties = Toxin in the air
Carol

AOL

#173 Mar 30, 2010
http://www.chicagotribune.com/health/ct-met-t...
Bill would define tire burning as renewable energy Legislation would add tire incineration to law boosting wind and solar energy By Michael Hawthorne, Tribune reporter March 21, 2010
"This is the sort of cynical legislative maneuvering that makes people question the credibility of our elected officials," said Howard Learner, president of the Environmental Law and Policy Center. "Burning tires is not clean, renewable energy by any credible definition." After learning about the incinerator bill, environmental groups are mobilizing to block it from passing out of the House this week. The lobbying already might have had an effect. Miller, an assistant House majority leader, took his name off the measure last week shortly after a committee approved his amendment. He didn't return phone calls, instructing a receptionist to tell a Tribune reporter that it "no longer was his bill." "It's one of those last-minute bills that just doesn't make sense," said Rep. Karen May, a Highland Park Democrat who voted against the bill. "No matter what its supporters say, the average citizen is going to scratch their heads about this one." The green energy credits that the incinerator would qualify for under the legislation are commodities traded by emerging financial markets, similar to pork bellies and cattle futures. They are intended to encourage more renewable, pollution-free energy and curb the amount of heat-trapping carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere.
The federal government considers incineration one of the least desirable ways to dispose of the nearly 300 million scrap tires Americans produce each year. Once piled into landfills, shredded tires increasingly are being recycled in asphalt, playground cushioning, athletic tracks and other products.
The Ford Heights incinerator, one of only a handful of tire burners nationwide, has been plagued by environmental and financial problems since it opened in the mid-1990s. Under the incinerator's previous owners, the pollution problems were so bad that Illinois EPA inspectors visited the site several times a month. The company had trouble finding buyers for its electricity after lawmakers repealed generous subsidies. It declared bankruptcy in 2004 after the plant's turbine exploded, shutting down the operation.

Environmental and community groups have long criticized what they consider lax pollution limits for the tire burner. Opponents object to, among other things, a lack of routine monitoring for hazardous, cancer-causing chemicals emitted by tire incineration, including benzene, butadiene and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. The state tests continuously only for sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide and soot — other pollutants that contribute to the region's dirty-air problems.

While the incinerator is equipped with pollution controls, its new owners have been accused repeatedly of violating the same environmental laws as the previous operators. Illinois EPA inspectors have cited the plant four times since 2006 for exceeding limits on sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide, according to state records. "Those violations speak for themselves," said Keith Harley, a Chicago lawyer who represents a south suburban community group fighting the incinerator.
Company officials did not return telephone calls. Jobs are scarce in Ford Heights, where the median household income is $17,500, less than a third of the median in Cook County. Miller has pushed environmental legislation to benefit a controversial polluter in the suburb before.
Miller and other supporters said the landfill, operated by a businessman facing criminal charges for another illegal dump nearby, would be turned into a ski slope that would draw investment to Ford Heights.
Carol

AOL

#174 Mar 30, 2010
http://www.chicagotribune.com/health/ct-met-t...

Bill would define tire burning as renewable energy Legislation would add tire incineration to law boosting wind and solar energy By Michael Hawthorne, Tribune reporter March 21, 2010
Click on the link above for the entire story-

"This is the sort of cynical legislative maneuvering that makes people question the credibility of our elected officials," said Howard Learner, president of the Environmental Law and Policy Center. "Burning tires is not clean, renewable energy by any credible definition."
The federal government considers incineration one of the least desirable ways to dispose of the nearly 300 million scrap tires Americans produce each year. Once piled into landfills, shredded tires increasingly are being recycled in asphalt, playground cushioning, athletic tracks and other products.

The Ford Heights incinerator, one of only a handful of tire burners nationwide, has been plagued by environmental and financial problems since it opened in the mid-1990s. Under the incinerator's previous owners, the pollution problems were so bad that Illinois EPA inspectors visited the site several times a month. The company had trouble finding buyers for its electricity after lawmakers repealed generous subsidies.

Illinois EPA inspectors have cited the plant four times since 2006 for exceeding limits on sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide, according to state records. "Those violations speak for themselves," said Keith Harley, a Chicago lawyer who represents a south suburban community group fighting the incinerator.
Company officials did not return telephone calls. Jobs are scarce in Ford Heights, where the median household income is $17,500, less than a third of the median in Cook County.

Miller and other supporters said the landfill, operated by a businessman facing criminal charges for another illegal dump nearby, would be turned into a ski slope that would draw investment to Ford Heights.
ZDOG

Franklin Park, IL

#175 Mar 31, 2010
BLUE ISLAND HEIGHTS
free

Orland Park, IL

#176 Mar 31, 2010
i cant wait to hit the slopes in ford heights!
if you thought clark was bad wait till we start burning tires. remember the stink from the clayhole anyone? why does blue island have to deal in other folks garbage? we need real industry. with real jobs for real people.
Bad News Bob

Midlothian, IL

#177 Mar 31, 2010
http://www.southtownstar.com/news/2098264,031...
WIll "Bob" Vote in Favor of a Reduction in Local Government Distributive Funds (LGDF) which will cut approximately $575,000 from Blue Island's Budget?
Currently the State of Illinois is 4 months behind on their LGDF payments to local governments.
Why do you think Blue Island is in the condition it is in???
Rita does nothing to help Blue Island.
Carol

AOL

#178 Mar 31, 2010
Mulligan on state income tax revenue:
Don't Count On It

March 23, 2010

By JENNIFER JOHNSON jjohnson@pioneerlocal.com
The city of Park Ridge should anticipate not receiving its full share of state income-tax revenues this year under Gov. Pat Quinn's proposal to cut municipal contributions, State Rep. Rosemary Mulligan told the City Council on Saturday.

Mulligan said the state's ever-growing deficit will require the governor to "take drastic steps," including reducing the share that municipalities receive in state income-tax revenue from 10 percent to 7 percent.

"I don't think you can count on that money being there," Mulligan told the council.

Park Ridge stands to lose about $936,000 if the revenue is not shared.

Last week Park Ridge City Manager Jim Hock and Mayor David Schmidt said they did not believe the 2010-11 city budget should be modified to include the possible $936,000 reduction in revenue. Both said it was unclear whether the measure would be approved by the General Assembly and become a reality.

But on Saturday, Mulligan told the council, "I cannot in good conscience say to you I don't think it will happen." She pointed to the state's slow economic recovery and projections that the 2011-12 state budget "will be just as bad as fiscal year 2011."

As it is the state is reportedly four months behind in its income-tax payments to Park Ridge, with the city owed $934,973 in back payments.

On Monday, 7th Ward Alderman Frank Wsol asked that $936,000 be cut from the city's 2010-11 budget when it is presented to the council on Monday, March 29.

"If there's a likelihood we're not going to get it, we shouldn't list it," Wsol said.

City Manager Jim Hock said he will offer some ideas Monday of what can be done should the city not receive its total income-tax revenue during the next fiscal year.

**********
The city of Blue Island along with other municipalities should also anticipate not receiving its full share of state income-tax revenues this year under Gov. Pat Quinn's proposal to cut municipal contributions.

"SPEND AND SAVE WISELY!"
The Fiscal Year in Blue Island runs
April 1-March 31.

THANK YOU

Gary, IN

#179 Mar 31, 2010
Bad News Bob wrote:
http://www.southtownstar.com/n ews/2098264,031210Budgetfolo.a rticle
WIll "Bob" Vote in Favor of a Reduction in Local Government Distributive Funds (LGDF) which will cut approximately $575,000 from Blue Island's Budget?
Currently the State of Illinois is 4 months behind on their LGDF payments to local governments.
Why do you think Blue Island is in the condition it is in???
Rita does nothing to help Blue Island.
REP. BOB RITA THANK YOU FOR STOPPING THE DUMP....
Carol

AOL

#180 Mar 31, 2010
THANK YOU wrote:
<quoted text>
REP. BOB RITA THANK YOU FOR STOPPING THE DUMP....
Amazing things happen when A DECISION IS MADE to Do the RIGHT THING(FOR THE PEOPLE); BECAUSE IT IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO.
THANKS REP. RITA for STEPPING UP and PROTECTING the PEOPLE and
The CITY OF BLUE ISLAND from "BURNING TIRES and MUNICIPAL WASTE"!
Learn Something will ya

Berwyn, IL

#181 Apr 3, 2010
"From a baseline standpoint, what we’re doing is taking someone else’s waste and burning it" Said Peloquin

Way to go Mr. Mayor and a early congrats...Your on your way to being classified as the worst Mayor in Blue Island's history
Carol

AOL

#182 Apr 5, 2010
Greenaction Joins Blue Island Residents Fight Against Plasma Arc Incinerator
Greenaction, a health and environmental justice group, believes that everyone has a right to clean air and water. Greenaction has challenged and won numerous attempts against plasma arc developers. The group will provide research and support to the Citizens Committee for a Clean Blue Island in their fight against Mayor Peloquin and State Representative Monique Davis's attempt to locate a plasma arc incinerator in Blue Island, IL.

http://www.greenaction.org/incinerators/docum...

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