Alternate Fules

(Half of these people represent industry. Half are environmentalists. Can't tell which ones? That's a good thing.) Should a bag of concrete be like an organic banana or a new chair made out of recycled wood and get "certified" as being responsibly-sourced, or "sustainable?" And if so, what's the criteria for making such a judgment, and who's making it? Those are the complicated questions […]

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A funny thing happened to Dallas Morning News automobile columnist Terry Box while he was out test driving a new Dodge pick-up truck – it self-immolated and burned to ashes on the side of the road. As he writes about it, his experience is both funny and terrifying. But something he noted in how cars […]

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We missed this the first time around, so we're glad that "Living on Earth" caught it again. A group of scientists, including marine biologist Chelsea Rochman, recently signed an article in the magazine Nature that called for classifying plastic as a hazardous waste. What's the rationale? It turns out to be pretty solid and based […]

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One of the reasons it's so disheartening to have EPA rollback the deadline for new cement plant air toxics standards and gut the PM pollution provision of those standards is because of the large and fundamental shift in what's being burned is taking place within the industry. Downwinders across the country need the protection of […]

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The cement industry calls it "alternative fuel" or "co-generation," but it's really just waste burning. This was true during the 1980's and 90's when the cement industry began converting kilns to large hazardous waste incinerators, and it's true now that the industry is trying to turn kilns into giant garbage incinerators. In one permit request […]

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Following a warehouse of industrail waste that spontaneously combusted at a South Carolina cement plant last month come news from Morgan, Utah that a semi and part of the "auxilary fuel" builing at Holcim's Devil's Slide cement plant caught fire while waste was being pumped from the truck. No injuries were reported. Expect more of […]

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First they Come for the Peanut Shells

by jim on April 7, 2012

  Here's a story from Florida about the Brooksville Cemex cement plant's new permit that displays the quintessential spin from the cement industry about their transformation into garbage burners. 1)The headline uses the preferred industry term of "alternative fuels" instead of garbage. 2) It leads with all the feel-good fuzzy bio-garbage like peanut shells and wood chips. Only further […]

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  Word comes that Lehigh's Glens Falls New York cement plant is applying for a another version of a "Landfill in the Sky" permit that would allow them to burn International Paper's"Enviro Fuel Cubes" made-up of all kinds of wood and paper waste. Lehigh says the cubes reduce Sulfur Dioxide pollution. So do Scrubbers. On the other hand, […]

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Among the many faux EPA outrages Big Business and House Republicans have fostered upon us, you may remember the meme that the feds were going to put thousands of hospitals and school boilers out of business with super strict new emission rules. In fact, the facilities most affected by the rules weren’t schools or hospitals. […]

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  While there may be some signs of life in the national economic picture, it seems to be a terrible time to have the Lone Star State's name attached to your business. As the Thanksgiving holiday began, the stock price of TXI, aka Texas industries, aka the owners of a brand new permit to burn […]

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(Dallas)—- Only three years after it finally stopped the controversial practice of burning hazardous waste at its Midlothian cement plant, TXI was awarded a permit in June by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality allowing the company to burn at least 12 new kinds of industrial wastes in its kiln without any public notice, comment, […]

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A profile of a Florida Cemex plant reveals the fluidity of current fuel mixes finding their way to your local neighborhood kiln. The entire industry is in flux as a result of new EPA emission rules, concern about greenhouse gases, and the costs of coal in a poor economy. That’s opened up possibilities that just weren’t there […]

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  Because of the relative abundance of cheap land, most Western states have not seen the kind of garbage-incinerator building spree a lot of the East Coat and Mid-West has experienced over the last 30 or so years. We still landfill our trash in Texas for the most part. In their sales pitches, garbage burners […]

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When Fake Billionaire Populists Collide

by jim on July 24, 2011

  …the results aredepressing and hilariousat the same time.  "Last month, for example, Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Pa.) withdrew his co-sponsorship of the measure after “I heard,” he said, that “T. Boone Pickens tends to stand to make a lot of money on it.” Pitts said, “I don’t want to be accused of, you know, doing […]

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Landfill Mining for Kiln Fuel

by jim on June 23, 2011

  How cozy: "Entsorga, a subsidiary of the Tortona, Italy-based Entsorga Italia S.p.A, has proposed to lease 4 acres of the Solid Waste Authority's old landfill property at 870 Grapevine Road for the "waste-to-alternative-fuel" operation. The lease the company proposed is for 20 years, Hogbin said. The fuel produced after the raw waste is separated, shredded, […]

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