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To the Editor,

Fri, Oct 11th, 2002
Posted in Letter to the Editor

Heartland Energy and Recycling's proposed plant may be the state of the art in tire recycling technology. However, no power plant has ever continuously burned 100% tire-derived fuel (TDF) to produce electricity. The manufacturer of the fluidized bed boiler has tested the technology in a small-scale model in a controlled environment. The MPCA has run air dispersion modeling using SCREEN3 a computer program that extrapolates data in a theoretical manner. The population of the Preston area will essentially be a test case for the proposed facility, just as the residents of St. Paul were test cases for ethanol plants.

It appears that the developer is amending his environmental assessment worksheet (EAW) before the comment period has ended. The EAW states that there will be 44,000 gallons per day of wastewater discharge to Preston's wastewater treatment facility. The developer now says that the discharge will only amount to 45 gallons per minute (14,400 gallons per day). Does he really have a plan? How can he be allowed to avoid doing an environmental impact statement (EIS) by amending his EAW during the comment period?

The EAW states that the fuel bunker will be uncovered, allowing precipitation to flow through the TDF and into a storm water detention basin. In recent weeks, that statement has been amended, and the developer now says the fuel bunker will be "enclosed." Once again, how can he amend his EAW before the comment period has ended?

Plant construction and operation may take away as many dollars as it puts into the local economy by negatively impacting tourism and real estate values.

The fact that one of the investors has lived in the Preston area for 65 years does not validate the Heartland Energy proposal. What is the track record of this developer? How have this investor's previous endeavors benefitted the community? Who are the other investors?

Barb Barrett

Preston, MN

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