So I see this notice, and run downstairs, “Alan, we’ve got to move!” and we hustled over to the “Solid Waste Campus,” and at the Bench Street intersection, waiting for the light, a fire truck comes roaring up, I quick take a left and scoot over to the right to let them through, it’s Lake City.  Yeah, this must be some “active emergency fire situation.”  And sure enough, I pulled over, got out, and got a few shots until I was shooed away.  This is what we first saw, just as the sun was setting, about 9:15 p.m.:

KTTC from Rochester was there too, and here’s their report:

Fire breaks out in Red Wing incinerator

Posted: Jun 07, 2017 9:47 PM CST

RED WING, Minn. (KTTC) – A four alarm fire breaks out in Red Wing Tuesday evening, damaging an incinerator.

Sixty-five firefighters have been battling the blaze since around 7:45 p.m., and called in extra assistance from around the region.

The fire is at the site of the Solid Waste facility at 1873 Bench Street in Red Wing.

Authorities request that residents stay away from the scene, as it is still considered an active blaze.

The facility takes burnable waste from Red Wing and surrounding communities in Goodhue and Wabasha counties.

Police say there was no one inside at the time of the fire.

The city also states that refuse and recycling will be picked up at normal times in the area for Thursday, June 8th.

More information will be released as it becomes available.

And on WCCO:

I think it was still burning when we got there, for sure it was smoking intensely.  There was smoke coming out of the roof on the east side, and they sawed at least two holes in the roof in the middle of the north side, and they opened up the big “incoming” door for offloading trucks and were dragging metal out with a front end loader, and then spraying inside, digging, spraying, digging.  and given that the inside was massive piles of garbage, it’ll likely take a long time to burn out or be put out.  The building has got to be a total loss, the new garbage grinder too, no word, but I’m betting.  Rick Moskwa looked pretty grim tonight as he headed from the site around the tanning factory building to the parking lot.

The incinerator was shut down a couple years ago now, and the old garbage grinder… BURNED… so they got a brand new fancy schmancy one using Minnesota’s Renewable Development Fund to buy it, and the grind up the garbage and ship it down a couple miles to the other side of Red Wing to burn it in the Xcel Energy garbage burner.  Now look at this mess… their brand new grinder has got to be damaged, if not destroyed.

The incinerator burns… AGAIN… right, maybe this will get the message through, no garbage burning in Red Wing.  ZERO WASTE!  We need to take steps toward this now and make it happen.

And from Red Wing Fire Department ~ 10 a.m. 6/8/2017:

Red Wing Fire Department

2 hrs ·

For Immediate Release
Thursday, June 08, 2017
Contact: Shannon Draper, Chief
Red Wing Fire Department
651.388.7141

Incident Date: June 7, 2017
Incident Time: 19:49 (7:49pm)
Incident Address: 1873 Bench Street, Red Wing, MN 55066
Alarm level: 4 Alarms
Resources on scene: 8 Engines, 3 Ladders, 2 Tenders, 5 Ambulances, 1 Battalion Chief and 3 Chief Officers. Total of 70 Firefighters on scene

Red Wing fire department received a call of smoke coming from the Red Wing city waste campus building. Units arrived on scene confirming a working fire and upgraded the fire call to a 1st alarm. Upon entering, the building crews encounter heavy fire condition in the tipping room area. Due to the amount of material and equipment in the building, the fire quickly grew and eventually involved 40% of the 36,000sqft building.

Fire was declared under control at 22:30 (10:30pm). Crews remained on scene working to overhaul the large building, looking for hot spots and putting out small fires until 01:10 (1:10am).

The building sustained major damage and the cause of the fire is under investigation.

Red Wing Fire Department wants to thank our mutual aid departments for assisting during this emergency.
• Ellsworth Fire
• Cannon Falls Fire
• Zumbrota Ambulance
• Lake City Fire
• Goodhue Fire
• Red Wing Police Department.

The mission of the Red Wing Fire Department is to enhance the safety and security of the community by providing cost effective protection of life and property, through fire prevention, public education, fire suppression and emergency medical care.

###

Listening to him speak is painful.  This idiot is talking about “Clean Coal.”   Claims that the Paris Accord stops development of “Clean Coal.”  DOH, IT’S THE ECONOMY STUPID!

He’s again blathering about 3-4% growth.  Delusional.

The Paris Accord hamstrings America?  The Paris Accord limits the American economy?

His points in the speech are insane.  A load of covfefe!

Here are tRumpe’s talking points handed out prior to today’s announcement:

Paris Accord_Talkers

Yes, it’s true, a Complaint has been filed with the D.C. Office on Disciplinary Council, Board on Professional Responsibility against tRump’s Kellyanne Conway:

Misconduct Complaint_Kellyanne Conway

It’s about time…

WaterTanksMounds

Ask and you shall receive, eh?  I’d not checked on this, was buried in other stuff this week, but LOOK!

NoticeMPCA – January 6 Notice of Comment Extension – p-ear2-119d

YES!  this is good because the MPCA did not release the primary documents until December 30, 2016, and there’s no excuse for denying the public time to review the Application, etc.

Once more with feeling, here are the Comments I’d filed on behalf of the Tyler Hills Neighbors on January 4, 2017, and Comments of Indian Affairs Council and Minnesota Department of Administration:

Comments -_Tyler Hills Neighbors & Exhibits

Comment Letter – Indian Affairs Council

Comment Letter – Dept of Administration

Note the photo at the top of this post — the Lab USA site is contiguous to the City of Red Wing’s laydown yard and crusher — and it wants to build its laydown yard and crusher on a lot that overlaps the Water Tank Mounds.  Ummmm, no, I don’t think so!

I’m looking forward to seeing any additional comments filed by the end of the month.

turkeyvultureA little birdie told me that there is a Red Wing business that could use “cleaned” ash, and I’d guess there are at least two… it seems the logical thing to do is to put Lab USA’s facility at this other business site, and everyone would be happy!  Well, not everyone, but it seems a better fit.  This is something the City should look into, because now that the City isn’t doing any “ash mining,” their dog in this has been neutered.  We shall see…

 

 

 

aashmine

There’s a plan afoot here in Red Wing that strikes me as one of the more bizarre ideas, particularly given the subsidy the City of Red Wing is giving to Xcel Energy by leasing land from Xcel Energy for the term of Xcel’s own “ash mining” project and about 10 years beyond.  WHAT?

On Monday, the Pollution Control Agency will release the EAW and you’ll be able to find it HERE AT THIS LINK.

This PR blurb was issued recently by the Red Wing Chamber of Commerce, in support of the project:

Community Meeting to Share Information About Proposed Project to Process Ash and Recycle Metals from Xcel Energy’s Red Wing RDF Landfill – December 7 | 5PM-7PM | Red Wing Public Library.

Please join Lab USA and the City of Red Wing for a community meeting to learn more about a potential project that would process ash and recycle metals from Xcel Energy’s RDF landfill in Red Wing. Lab USA has proposed to build, own, and operate an environmentally-responsible ash processing facility that would be located next to the existing Xcel RDF landfill in Red Wing. The project will recover and recycle high quantities of iron and non-iron metals from ash in the landfill that was created by Xcel Energy’s Red Wing Generating Plant and from existing ash at Xcel Energy’s RDF landfill.The community meeting is another step in Lab USA’s ongoing work to secure permits and approvals and to reach out to the Red Wing community.

 *   Lab USA has completed a voluntary Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW) that shows the project will comply with rules and regulations related to noise, emissions, and other impacts.
 *   People from Lab USA, Xcel Energy, and the City of Red Wing will be at the meeting to answer questions and talk about the project, how the ash processing works, and how this project can benefit Red Wing.
This project is also a unique way for Red Wing to take its commitment to sustainable environmental stewardship to a new level by creating both economic and environmental benefits for City of Red. It will remove and recycle metals from the landfill, generate new revenue for the city, and create jobs as the project moves forward.

The meeting will also include a chance to learn more about EAW for the project and to share comments and feedback with Lab USA and the City of Red Wing. The public comment period for the EAW begins December 5th. The Red Wing City Council is expected to vote to approve the project in February of 2017. For more information please contact labusaredwing@gmail.com 

To be clear, the Monday meeting is hosted by Lab USA and is an “open house” format and is not a formal hearing.  The public comment period is for 30 days, until January 4, and I’l publish details on where to send the comments after the Notice is issued.  After January 4, 2017, there will be a determination of whether an Environmental Impact Statement is necessary, and remember, in recent history, the MPCA Board has only ordered ONE EIS, and after that one EIS, the MPCA Citizens Board was unceremoniously disbanded!  The odds of a declaration that an EIS is needed are zilch, zip, nada, ZERO.

The EAW will be released on Monday, FIND IT HERE, per Dan Card at the MPCA:

Kevin Kain is the environmental review project manager for the proposed Lab USA project. 

The reason you couldn’t find the EAW on our website is because it hasn’t been placed on public notice yet. That will occur next Monday Dec 5, 2016 which starts the 30 day public comment period.  You will find EAW posted next Monday at the bottom of https://www.pca.state.mn.us/quick-links/environmental-assessment-worksheets-and-environmental-impact-statements under Environmental Assessment Worksheets.

The company will be hosting an Open House and Kevin along with other solid waste permitting staff plan on attending.

What’s the deal?

Here are the documents I have, in chronological order for the most part, some are duplicates produced for the procedural step that followed:

So what is this, the short version??  It’s a plan to “mine” the incinerator ash in the City of Red Wing landfill.  There’s a link to formally closing the dump, and I think that by doing this, the city takes a step toward that formal closure, one pushed by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.  But mining the ash?  The plan is for the City of Red Wing to hire a company, Lab USA, to “mine” the ash and remove salable materials from it.

Now here’s where it gets really weird.  The City of Red Wing’s planned part of this project lasts one year.  Xcel Energy, which has its own incinerator dump here, plans to do the same, and its part of the project lasts 11 years.  And the City of Red Wing signed a lease with Xcel Energy to do this project for 20 years.  TWENTY YEARS?  WHAT?!?!  Here are the details…

The City staff has stressed the underlying Red Wing goal of landfill closure through the state’s “Closed Landfill Program.”  When presented at the 11/9/2015 workshop (See 8c2-attachment -_11-09-15_Workshop_Minutes), there was “potential” for a sublease, and now that’s presumed.  Red Wing’s Public Works has pressure from the MPCA to close its landfill, and also from Xcel because Red Wing “does not have enough ash to support this project as a stand alone project.”  In other words, it’s dependent on Xcel to do this “project.”  RW Public Works’s Moskwa admits that “the Xcel Energy landfill ash is the primary reason for the Lab USA’s interest in submitting a proposal.” (See p. 5, March 22. 2016, Sustainability Commission MeetingMinutes).

The City of Red Wing project would last just 1 year, and Xcel Energy’s share would last 10-11 years.  (Lease, p. 17 of pdf: May 9, 2016_9b – attachment Yet the City of Red Wing is leasing Lots 1 and 2 from Xcel Energy for 20 years!  Given that disparity, the reasons for the lease/sublease arrangement with the City of Red Wing, Xcel, and Lab USA, rather than Lab USA taking on the lease, are not clear.  Because there are three parties in this, that provides some measure of inherent instability in the project, and because Lab USA has no history in Minnesota, they’ll receive higher scrutiny, one would hope.  On the other hand, the City of Red Wing seems to have yet another deal with Xcel Energy, where they’ve taken on a lease of land from Xcel for the City yard (for what purpose?) and that also includes lease of the land for this project and then the City plans to sublease to Lab USA (for the one year, for 11 years, for 20 years?), but yet the lion’s share of term of the project is the 10-11 years for Xcel, not the 1 year for Red Wing.  So why is the City of Red Wing buying into this, subsidizing this, so heavily?  To induce Xcel to do it?  Some other reason?

With the lease for both lots already signed, the project is moving forward, and that’s a problem.  How is this a good deal for the City of Red Wing?  Is anyone paying attention?

Further, calling this project an allowed use, as “Public Works Maintenance Shops and Yards,” is a stretch.  I’m not seeing any change from Agricultural Residential (AR) designation in the Comp Plan, and see statements that “Outlot A” was removed from the Tyler Hills PUD, Applications for Lot 1 and Lot 2 both denote Zoning as “AR.”  I don’t see a change from AR to anything else. The Application includes “Proposed Tyler Hills Fourth Addition” and the lease boundary doesn’t match up with Outlot A, and Figures 1 and 2 don’t match up with the proposed plat.  Details, anyone?

Other issues with the project itself?

  • There’s traffic… “24 trucks/day” means 48 truck trips per day, or 24 trucks assigned to the area to make many trips back and forth and back and forth from the landfill to the building — this needs to be clarified, and impacts addressed.  And these trucks are in addition to currently running Xcel garbage burner ash trucks and in addition to RW’s Lot 1 “Public Works Maintenance Shops and Yards” trucks that will be at least an additional 15-30 pickups and trucks per day.
  • There’s sound…  The homes directly north, west, and southwest are above, with this project situated down in a hole — and sound travels up.  The “CUP Sound Study” is for the RW crusher, and does not take into account the Lab USA operation, so how does the EAW address that?
  • There’s dust…  From Mark Walsworth, who notes that “one of the items left out is just how much hazardous material that will be produced annually is not mentioned…all of it dust, and  that by themselves, these numbers should scare anyone!  Also notably missing is ANY plan or equipment to keep these from escaping to the environment.”

Lead        519,000 lbs

Cadmium       8,400 lbs

Chrome       51,000 lbs

Arsenic       6,000 lbs

Manganese   156,000 lbs

Nickel       24,600 lbs

Selenium      1,500 lbs

Mercury         600 lbs

  • On and on…

Here are two Letters to the Editor written by Alan Muller about this:

LTE  Muller – Mining Incinerator Ash is Foolish Idea  12-10-2015

LTE_Muller – Incinerator ash plan and actions behind it are toxic  3-31-2016

LTE_Walsworth – Mayor didn’t raise NIMBY_4-6-2016

LTE_Muller – NIMBY is good thing, NIABY is better  4-15-16

We need to take a look at that EAW (remember, it’s prepared by the applicant/project proponent) and see what is revealed, what is considered, and what’s left out.

soundstudy