Friday, July 27
, 2001

Power plant 'facts' a little smoky themselves

Subject: "Power plant story gets facts, figures wrong" [from Fulton Energy Co. spokesman Dan Skizim, Letters to the Editor, The Citizen, July 18].

To say the least, the subject letter got my attention. You are upset because your plant was referred to as the "... largest power plant in the country." You are, of course, correct. There are, according to you, seven which are larger.

Mr. Skizim, I believe your words at a public meeting were, "the largest of its kind." When people asked you about other sites to which this one could be compared, you stated that "to my knowledge, there are none." Can you understand then why your listeners became concerned? I stand corrected, however, so in the future I will refer to it as "one of the largest" or "the largest of its kind."

One further comment on size. At both a public meeting and a meeting in my office attended by you and me, our attorneys, your public relations firm and your lobbyist, in response to repeated questions you implied that if the plant were to become productive, there was a high probability that it would be expanded. I can only wonder if it might soon become the "largest in the country."

Your other concern was comparing your 500 tons per year of nitrous oxide to 26,000 cars. I have spoken with several people who could not relate to 500 tons of emissions. To clarify what this tonnage equates to, I provided the following data. Five hundred tons equals one million pounds. EPA Factsheet 420-F-00-013, dated April, 2000, states the average passenger car emits 38.2 pounds of nitrous oxide per year. Simple division reveals that your four 210-foot stacks and 26,178 cars would each emit one million tons of nitrous oxide per year into the environment of an area which already fails to comply with federal air quality standards. I will continue to use this analogy.

I never have, nor will I ever imply that the effect of releases from four 210-foot stacks and 26,178 cars at one foot, are equal. I'll leave that to the smart folks. However, to state as your letter does, that your emissions will have "... no significant impact on air quality," makes one question the federal requirement that you mitigate your pollution somewhere else in the non-attainment area.

If it doesn't impact our air, why haven't you challenged the EPA requirement? If it will have no significant impact on air quality, why did you, in a public meeting (while attempting to lessen the fears of area residents, whom you apparently believed to be from Fulton County) tell us that Fulton County residents shouldn't worry about it since the prevailing winds would blow the pollutants in the other direction. The other direction, Mr. Skizim, is Fayette County! Fayette County citizens are human beings which you and your studies continue to ignore.

Incidentally, you've had considerable trouble with the facts yourselves. For instance, originally you were to have four 180-foot stacks; now we have four 210-foot stacks. Your literature states you were to donate over 200 acres for greenspace. Your letter to me dated July 2, 2001, now states you will dedicate approximately "100 acres or more" of greenspace.

There are many more misstatements and contradictory statements which will be discussed at other times and other forums. In the meantime, it would be reassuring if you would worry more about the safety, health and welfare of your potential neighbors rather than worrying about maintaining your "corporate spin."

Greg Dunn

Fayette County Commission Chairman


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