Meadville Tribune

December 2, 2012

Judge extends deadline for tire plant evidence

Meadville Tribune

MEADVILLE — A judge won’t rule on the fate of a proposed tires-to-energy plant in Greenwood Township until next year.

Thomas Renwand of the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board this week extended deadlines for submitting evidence about the proposed $350 million plant until Jan. 18, and motions in the case until Feb. 1.

Renwand will then decide whether state regulators acted properly in October 2011 in approving the plant’s air quality plan.

Crawford Renewable Energy plans to build facility in the Keystone Regional Industrial Park in Greenwood Township, south of Meadville. The plant would burn about 900 tons of chopped-up waste tires daily to produce enough electricity for about 75,000 homes.

In November 2011, two Crawford County residents — Dr. Robert Concilus and Leah Humes — challenged the approval of the plant’s air quality plan.

The appeal claims the plant will produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, lead, mercury and arsenic.

The appeal claims Crawford Renewable Energy provided emissions estimates without supporting data and that without supporting data, “the emissions of various substances may have been underestimated.”

The appeal also argues the Geneva Marsh, a massive wetlands area near the proposed plant site is “an irreplaceable and fragile wetland that is home to Pennsylvania’s largest breeding population of bald eagles and a very popular waterfowl hunting area ... and may be significantly impacted by the emissions from this plant. The water that flows through the marsh is a major tributary of French Creek, one of the most diverse and important streams in the northeastern United States.”