Med-waste plan gets OK

A citizens group in Red Bluff that has been hell-bent on keeping a medical-waste facility out of the community took a major hit Sept. 10, when the Tehama County Air Pollution Control Hearing Board shot down its appeal, 3-1.

Integrated Environmental Technologies (InEnTec) will now be able to go forward with a facility that will melt down some 15 million pounds of waste per year, everything from syringes and bandages to body parts and fluids.

Dan Irving, the attorney representing the group, said it may challenge the company’s plasma arc technology, which melts waste down to a glass-like substance. Irving said this week that current state air-quality laws do not cover the new technology.

InEnTec spokespersons say the technology creates less dioxin than typical incineration, and would actually turn medical waste into energy.

The two sides have been going back and forth in appeals since 2004. Many Red Bluff residents believe the project was back-doored in and worry they will be guinea pigs for a technology that needs more testing.