Citizens put the heat on InEnTec
It looks like the ball is now in InEnTec’s court.
After winning an appeal last month against InEnTec Medical Services’ proposed waste facility that was to be built on the outskirts of Red Bluff, locals are determined to keep the pressure on.
Bradley Angel of Greenaction, an environmental nonprofit organization in San Francisco, said this week that community members are already in the process of gathering signatures to put a referendum on the June ballot that would prohibit any facility of its kind from coming to Tehama County.
As it stands InEnTec, a company out of Richland, Wash., has yet to make an announcement as to what it will do next.
“My hunch is that they’re deep in thought because their options aren’t very good,” Angel said.
It was just days before Christmas when Greenaction and members of a local citizens’ group filed into the Tehama County Courthouse in what turned out to be a marathon day of testimony. And after nearly three months of squabbling between InEnTec and community members, the appeals board voted 3-1 to revoke construction permits issued by the Tehama County Air Pollution Control District in July 2005.
Greenaction and the Citizens for Review of Infectious Medical Waste Imports into Tehama County, a community group led by Rancho Tehama resident Lupe Green, have charged that InEnTec wasn’t forthcoming as to what sort of emissions would be generated with its Plasma Enhanced Melter (PEM) system, which produces gas to break down medical waste such as syringes, human body parts and other fluids.
Angel said InEnTec claimed on its own Web site that the plasma arc technology didn’t emit any dioxin. (After Greenaction alerted the company to the misstatement, InEnTec took the “no problems” claim off of its Web site.)
The group also pointed out that two facilities in Hawaii and Washington were forced to shut down due to mechanical problems. InEnTec responded, saying it was mismanagement that led to the breakdowns.
Angel said the only real alternative he sees for InEnTec would be to cut down the amount of waste it would process per day—something he said would be economically impossible.
Although Angel has yet to hear what InEnTec officials plan to do next, he said the most realistic option the company has is trying to overturn the appeal in Superior court. But with a referendum on the June ballot already in the works, Angel said no one plans to roll over on the issue.
“The citizens and Greenaction are poised to respond to any decision InEnTec makes,”www.greenaction.org/incinerators/redbluff/documents/CitizensAndGreenactionProposedFindings.pdf