ReVenture still 'evolving'

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Last week, the ReVenture Park team — the people behind the proposed "eco-industrial" park that will include a trash incinerator and waste water treatment plant — hosted a community meeting. Then, the next day, the ReVenture Advisory Council gave the project a thumbs up.

Here's something startling about those simple bits of news: A major part of the plan, one that could help prevent air pollution, was changed, but the change wasn't shared at the community meeting — and it just about slipped under the radar at the RAC meeting.

Just like the developers promised European technology, then decided to go with technology from Kansas, they've been telling everyone that they'll create trash pellets infused with lime. That's what they plan to burn in the incinerator. The lime was supposed to help prevent air pollution, but, all of a sudden, it's no longer going to be included. And the pellets? No more, at least for the trash that's going to be burned in Meckleburg County. Now they're going to simply dump the trash — that's been picked over for most, but not all, recycleables first — into the incinerator hybrid.

What?!

This is when I should tell you that there's another developer-sponsored ReVenture meeting coming up on Feb. 1. Here's the flier. Note: despite a large crowd who came armed with tons of questions, the last community meeting was cut off at 9 p.m. even though "Team ReVenture" said they'd stay until everyone's questions were answered.

Here's more from the Charlotte Business Journal's Susan Stabley, who's been following ReVenture news like no other journalist in the Q.C.:

The ReVenture Advisory Council voted 8 to 3 in support of the contract with conditions. The dissenting members opposed the county’s proposed deal with developers of ReVenture Park largely because of air-pollution concerns and potential damage to nearby property values.

Two members of the panel disclosed potential conflicts of interest. Ollie Frazier, who voted “aye,” is a consultant for Calor Energy, which is part of the ReVenture team. Linda Ashendorf, who voted against the project, works for Republic Services, operators of the Speedway landfill.

Among the panel's recommendations: ReVenture plant must operate under a minor-source air-pollution permit during the life of the facility. Major source permits under the EPA’s Title V program — part of the Clear Air Act — allow for greater amount of toxins to be released out of smokestacks.

Some proposed requirements failed to get enough support from a majority of the panel, including a cap that kept the gasification plant at only 20 megawatts and a prohibition on the ReVenture team importing waste from outside the county.

Read the entire article here.

Allow me to repeat myself: ReVenture news is news to watch ... carefully.

Rhiannon "Rhi" Bowman is an independent journalist who contributes snarky commentary on Creative Loafing's CLog blog four days a week in addition to writing for several other local media organizations. To learn more, click the links or follow Rhi on Twitter.

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