RI House weighs outlawing pyrolysis and high heat waste processing“This process runs against everything we are trying to do in our state to preserve our environment for our children and preserve its appeal for ourselves, our tourism and our seasonal residents,” said Representative Justine Caldwell.
Published on April 9, 2021
By Steve Ahlquist
House bill 5923, which would “prohibit new high-heat waste processing facilities” was the only bill heard at Thursday’s House Committee on the Environment and Natural Resources, but it still took nearly two hours to get through all the testimony in favor of the bill, and it should be stated, ALL the testimony was in favor of this bill except for the written submissions from the American Chemistry Council, a pro-plastics industry lobbying group.
Here’s the video of the committee hearing:
“We absolutely do not want Rhode Island to become a destination for these types of waste facilities,” said Representative Justine Caldwell (Democrat, District 30, East Greenwich), who introduced the bill. “High heat processing is just burning waste, regardless of the number of steps you have in the process, it’s just burning waste. Regardless of what word you use to substitute for burning, it’s burning waste. Regardless of whether you use oxygen, it’s burning waste. It is not green and it does not generate anything renewable. Even currently, under Rhode Island law, these processes are not and cannot be renewable.”
Caldwell noted that allowing these kinds of facilities to operate in Rhode Island runs against the spirit of the recently passed 2021 Act on Climate bill that sets enforceable goals on lowering emissions in the state.
“This process runs against everything we are trying to do in our state to preserve our environment for our children and preserve its appeal for ourselves, our tourism and our seasonal residents,” continued Representative Caldwell.
Representative Patricia Serpa (Democrat, District 27, West Warwick), who has co-sponsored the bill, tied it directly to the proposed MedRecycler plant that is currently undergoing a process of approval with the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM).
“A comprehensive ban on these types of facilities is essential to protect public health, to protect our environment and to protect our climate,” said Kevin Budris from CLF. “Whether you call it incineration, gasification, pyrolysis, advanced recycling – burning waste is toxic. Every single one of the processes releases climate damaging pollutants like carbon dioxide, along with lead, mercury, dioxins, sulphur dioxides – to name just a few.
“Pyrolysis… isn’t the solution for the plastics problem. The only way to stem the lifecycle of pollution that comes with plastics is to look upstream and stop single use plastic production at its source,” said Budris. “The City of Providence has already taken action and has banned all high heat waster facilities and it’s time for the state to follow suit.”
Here are the links to all the written testimony submitted to the committee in favor of the bill:
- 04-08-2021–H5923–Veronica Ramos
- 04-08-2021–H5923–Tom Romeo
- 04-08-2021–H5923–Theresa Butziger
- 04-08-2021–H5923–Sharon Romeo
- 04-08-2021–H5923–Sarah Turshen
- 04-08-2021–H5923–Sarah Senerchia
- 04-08-2021–H5923–Pharma-Cycle LLC
- 04-08-2021–H5923–Nicole Armstrong
- 04-08-2021–H5923–Nancy Nordquist
- 04-08-2021–H5923–Nancy Caldwell
- 04-08-2021–H5923–Miguel Figueroa
- 04-08-2021–H5923–Melissa Chernick
- 04-08-2021–H5923–Matt Mattioli
- 04-08-2021–H5923–Marisa Kambour
- 04-08-2021–H5923–Lynne Moulton
- 04-08-2021–H5923–Lily Scott
- 04-08-2021–H5923–Joy Richter
- 04-08-2021–H5923–Jordan Goyette
- 04-08-2021–H5923–Jay Rowe
- 04-08-2021–H5923–James Ferguson
- 04-08-2021–H5923–Greg Armstrong
- 04-08-2021–H5923–Eugenia Marks
- 04-08-2021–H5923–Dudley Bennett
- 04-08-2021–H5923–Dr Joshua Jarbeau
- 04-08-2021–H5923–Dr Daisy Bassen
- 04-08-2021–H5923–Denise Lopez
- 04-08-2021–H5923–David Dias
- 04-08-2021–H5923–Conservation Law Foundation
- 04-08-2021–H5923–Christine Berger
- 04-08-2021–H5923–Cheryl Sachs
- 04-08-2021–H5923–Catherine Costantino
- 04-08-2021–H5923–Carol and Kevin Lampeter
- 04-08-2021–H5923–Brian Bennett
- 04-08-2021–H5923–Bill Zech
- 04-08-2021–H5923–Beth Ferguson
- 04-08-2021–H5923–Barbara Walsh
- 04-08-2021–H5923–Abigail Mansfield Marcaccio
Here’s a link to the one testimony opposed to the bill:
Articles about the proposed Medrecyler facility:
- Jim Mullowney: MedRecycler RI will expose our families to extremely hazardous chemicals that cause birth defects and cancer
- All the video from the DEM hearing on proposed pyrolysis medical waste to energy facility
- MedRecycler to Be Financed w/$17 Million in R.I. Tax-Exempt Bonds
- Local groups lead charge against medical waste to energy facilities in Rhode Island
- Is turning waste plastic into fuel the answer to our waste management and energy woes?
- Senator Valverde and Rep Caldwell oppose medical waste burning proposal on East Greenwich line
- Representative Serpa opposes medical waste to fuel pyrolysis facility
- RI leaders are falling for the perpetual motion machine scam
- ecoRI: Proposed Medical Waste Facility has Neighbors on Edge
- ecoRI: DEM Issues Conditional Permit to West Warwick Medical-Waste-to-Energy Facility
- EGNews: Town Appeals Permit for West Warwick Medical Waste Plant
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