Testimony of Bridget Walsh, to City Council , December 15 in re Denver Zoological Foundation Permit Application
(Did you know that the Zoo is planning on burning animal waste to produce energy, on site?)
I am Bridget Walsh, a member of CPFAN.
I would like to read excerpt from experts about the risks of the gasiﬁcation process: From Wikipedia on the subject of biomass gasification:
Environmental advocates have called gasiﬁcation "incineration in disguise" and argue that the technology is still dangerous to air quality and public health. "Since 2003 numerous proposals for waste treatment facilities hoping to use... gasiﬁcation technologies failed to receive ﬁnal approval to operate when the claims of project proponents did not withstand public and governmental scrutiny of key claims," according to the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives. One facility which operated from 2009-2011 in Ottawa had 29 "emissions incidents" and 13 "spills" over those three years. It was also only able to operate roughly 25% of the time.
The second is from a European Commission Report , 2009:
Guideline for Safe and Eco-friendly Biomass Gasification
The technology of biomass gasiﬁcation differs from other energy conversion technologies based on renewable energy sources because it inherently involves the production, treatment and utilization of ﬂammable and toxic gas mixtures, plant media and utilities. Therefore, an adequate risk assessment is strongly recommended and is often a legal requirement for placing the plant into the market and running it. A risk assessment is aimed at protecting the workers and the plant itself.
Manufacturers/operators have to keep in mind that accidents and ill health can ruin lives and can affect the business too if output is lost, machinery is damaged, insurance costs increase or there is the possibility of prosecution [Ref 16].A risk assessment consists of a careful examination of what could cause harm to the people and environment in the plant, and the adoption of reasonable control measures. The manufacturers/operators have to produce a complete and well documented assessment of the risk relative to:
• Human and animal health hazards such as dangers from toxic gases
• Safety issues such as explosion hazards and ﬁre hazards, and
• Environment hazards from plant emissions and loss of containment ! relating to toxic substances.
Well, Denver voters may never have the opportunity to judge the risk assessment plan at the Zoo’s industrial waste plant, because much like highly proﬁtable oil and gas companies who refuse to give First Responders information about the trade secret contents of the fracking solutions that they inject into the earth , the Zoo has wrapped up much of the data needed for robust citizen and government agency review of their proposals as trade secrets or “Conﬁdential Business Information.”
I suggest that citizen health and safety is much more important than the future proﬁts of the Denver Zoological Foundation, who along with DPR run the Zoo with an iron hand that is symbolized by the ugly, Gulag-style Gate 15, the back door to the Zoo, but an ugly, deep wound on historic City Park.
I implore you to put this project on hold until there is a legitimate Citizens Advisory Committee set up to evaluate for the ﬁrst time the Zoos gasiﬁcation proposal in the light of day. The risks seem very serious and potentially deadly for park users and neighborhood residents. Thank you.