Tag Archives: Biomass

Statement from BASF on cancellation of Newport “biomass” incinerator

From: Michael E Heltzer [mailto:michael.heltzer@basf.com]
Sent: Thursday, March 04, 2010 1:28 PM
Subject: Statement from BASF

Statement Regarding Termination of Intrinergy Agreement

BASF and Intrinergy have mutually agreed to terminate the energy supply agreement that we signed in April of 2008, thus ending the project to develop a combined heat and power system for our Newport, Delaware site using biomass fuel. We continue to believe that it is important to explore alternative energy options that are cost effective and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels; however it is not feasible at this time. Ciba, and now BASF remains firmly committed to Responsible Care

Michael E. Heltzer
Government Affairs Manager
BASF Corporation
100 Campus Drive
Florham Park, NJ 07932
Phone:  (973) 245-6035
E-mail:  michael.heltzer@basf.com

Alert 675: Massachusetts Medical Society’s opposition to “biomass” incinerators, and “your turn!”

Now it’s your turn:  Take action to protect your health by keeping incinerators out of Delaware.
(action steps below)

Friends, we have a message our readers have heard before:  “Stop the Incinerator!”

You heard this when Tom Carper was governor.  You heard it when Ruth Ann Minner was Governor.  Now you hear it when Jack Markell is Governor.  Campaign statements notwithstanding, Markell, on this issue, is proving to be a horse with the same gait.  Should we call it, “change you can’t believe in?”  Markell’s promotion of incineration is shockin–we’ve been had! Continue reading

Alert 671: Delaware environmental laws under attack by “Clean Air Council”

BASF, with help from “Clean Air Council,” seeks to roll back Del. environmental laws, build highly-polluting “biomass” incinerator in Newport, DE
Public outrage needed NOW.  See below for action steps.


Today, January 12, 2010, the Delaware General Assembly goes back into session.  As usual, this presents both threats and opportunities.

Delaware has few environmental distinctions.  One of these few is a strong law against incinerators.

Since 2000 this law, championed by State Senator David McBride, has protected thousands of people from death and disease caused by air pollution.

Special interests don’t stop conniving to weaken it.  Continue reading

“Statement of Evidence–Particulate Emissions and Health” by Professor Vyvyan Howard (38 pages).

This is not light reading, but neither is the subject.  Anyone wanting to know more about air pollution and health will find it worthwhile to plow through these 38 pages.

Vyvyan Howard is also a key person behind the longer report The Health Effects of Waste Incinerators from the British Society for Ecological Medicine

Report on May 28, 2009, Newport incinerator meeting ….

A battle won, but the war will continue.

“There is no way we are going to work that this session.”

—House Speaker Bob Gilligan

“The state, however, needs to be careful not to allow cogeneration systems to burn high emission solid fuels.”
–candidate Jack Markell

Continue reading

Greendel Alert 658: “Biomass” burners could liquidate our forests

Boston Globe op-ed: “A red flag on green energy plan”


I hope you are aware of, and speaking out against, the current attempt to roll back Delaware’s nation-leading laws against incineration.  If not, see:

Alert 654: Ciba (BASF) rolls out a new air pollution threat to your health…..
Letter to General Assembly members: “No ‘biomass’ burning in Delaware

The News Journal also has done a story:

In the News-Journal: “Ciba proposes waste-fueled generator”

(The rest of Delaware’s media, including blogs, has mostly been in blackout mode.)
Continue reading

In the News-Journal: “Ciba proposes waste-fueled generator”

Ciba proposes waste-fueled generator

Delaware passed ban on incinerators in 2000

The News Journal

A Newport pigment factory has challenged Delaware’s ban on new incinerators, asking state officials to consider a biomass-fueled steam and electricity plant.

Ciba Corp.’s proposal — made public only in broad terms — could require lawmakers to change a law passed in 2000 that banned most types of waste-fueled incinerators, “even if the by-products of the operation include useful products.”

Although one public record filed with federal regulators last year indicated that Ciba was considering a process that would skirt the incinerator ban, a company spokeswoman indicated by e-mail that Ciba now is pursuing a more conventional burner.

The ban — which took effect without Gov. Tom Carper’s signature — was introduced after a public battle over plans for a power plant that would have burned castoff wooden industrial pallets and other wastes. Supporters said the measure was needed to protect low-income neighborhoods from waste industry pollution.

Critics, including Carper, argued that the bill went too far, blocking use of renewable fuels, such as crop wastes, wood chips and woody “litter” used on the floors of thousands of Delmarva Peninsula poultry houses.

Today, legislators are divided on whether the law should not be changed.

“I’m going to oppose any change. If you can’t breathe, nothing else matters,” said Sen. David B. McBride, who sponsored the ban in 2000. Ciba could build its plant, he said, “if they can do it within the existing law.”

Company officials plan a public briefing at 7 p.m. May 28 at Newport Town Hall at 15 N. Augustine St.

BASF Corp., an international company with headquarters in Germany, completed a $5.1 billion acquisition of Switzerland-based Ciba in April. Officials described the Newport plant’s future as uncertain at that time, noting that some activities at the 200-employee plant might overlap with those of BASF.

Although details on the incinerator proposal are scarce, Ciba Vice President Donna Jakubowski said Newport was considering a “commercially proven combined heat and power technology.”

“We are pursuing this project to develop sustainable, renewable energy that uses the best technology available to be protective of the environment,” Jakubowski said in an e-mail. The company now buys electricity and uses natural gas to generate steam.

The company hopes to meet all of its steam requirements and two-thirds of its electricity needs from a biomass burner, Jakubowski said. A wide range of timber and agricultural industry leftovers, wood wastes or dedicated “energy” crops are under consideration for fuels, as is yard waste. Other details are unavailable, she said, with DNREC’s permit and emission control requirements likely to affect final project designs.

“Obviously, we support transitioning away from the use of fossil fuels and looking at more renewable energy where it makes sense. But some of the proposals also have significant downsides,” said Jennifer Mihills, associate director of the Delaware Nature Society.

“At this point, we have raised several questions. Certainly we don’t want to see an opening of the door for all kinds of possibilities,” Mihills said.

Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Deputy Secretary David Small said that his agency has fielded other inquiries about incinerator-type projects recently, and has discussed the Newport proposal with Ciba.

Alan Muller, who directs the environmental group Green Delaware, said Ciba and other industries in the state are trying to reopen the state to incinerator construction, a move that would worsen emissions.

“We are concerned that the ‘fuels’ could end up including chemical wastes from Ciba’s manufacturing processes,” Muller added. “But even if the only ‘fuel’ was ‘clean wood,’ the health and environmental consequences would be bad. Wood is a chemically complex, high-emissions fuel.”

House Majority Leader Robert F. Gilligan, D-Sherwood Park, said that Ciba needed to brief community members and neighbors about the plant before lawmakers consider amending the ban.

Rep. Michael P. Mulrooney, D-Pennwood, who chairs the House Natural Resources and Environmental Control committee, said that he wanted more information but was “leaning toward” Ciba’s position.

“Right now I’m inclined to support it,” Mulrooney said. “From what I understand, the community is in favor.”

Newport Mayor Michael Spencer said that Ciba had been an environmentally sensitive plant and good neighbor in recent years, winning EPA recognition for its pollution-control efforts.

“A lot of people live in the immediate area,” Spencer cautioned. “If there’s an overwhelming sentiment about this from the residents, it’s very difficult to get it to the next stage.”

A company document filed with the Environmental Protection Agency last year said that Ciba had been working on the project at least since 2007, and that conflicts with the state’s incinerator ban “have been resolved.”

Ciba told the EPA at the time that its chosen process for Newport involved “pyrolysis” — a setup that uses extreme heat to bake and char wood to extract flammable gas and other materials without creating flames. The gas is then piped to burners for use as a fuel to make steam or electricity.

Jakubowski said that Ciba now considers pyrolysis technology still in a developmental stage.