PRESS STATEMENT *** PRESS STATEMENT *** PRESS STATEMENT ***
HEAL UTAH WELCOMES THE END OF SANDY ILL-FATED WASTE-TO-ENERGY PROJECT
UNTESTED NAVITUS BID RAISED MAJOR AIR QUALITY CONCERNS FOR SANDY RESIDENTS
Today, HEAL Utah issued a statement regarding the Navitus Sustainable Industries waste-to-energy project, which Sandy officials have now abandoned. (See today’s Salt Lake Tribune story at http://www.sltrib.com/news/
Although the company did recently receive a permit from the Division of Air Quality, the project failed to fulfill their financial obligations with Sandy City, officials there have announced.
In addition, at several public hearings over recent years, residents and environmentalists raised serious concerns about whether a urban residential area which already faces air quality issues was the right location for testing out a technology that has never been used in the U.S. to transform trash into electricity.
According to HEAL’s Senior Policy Associate, Ashley Soltysiak, “We are pleased to cross this project off the roster of public and environmental health concerns facing our already troubled air shed.”
Soltysiak went on to highlight concerns about the project’s ability to deliver on its claims of cheap energy production with no harmful emissions, “When something sounds too good to be true, it generally is,” she said. “Many Sandy residents were rightfully dubious that Navitus could miraculously turn waste into cheap and clean energy.”
HEAL Utah’s primary issue with the project centered on its potential air quality impacts. “Our research has shown that similar facilities often produce troubling amounts of hazardous air pollutants, such as dioxins. All along it hasn’t made sense to use Sandy residents as guinea pigs — subject to emissions from this completely untested technology.”
Soltysiak concluded, “Communities have an obligation to scrutinize the businesses that they welcome. In Navitus’ case, any alleged benefits were greatly outweighed by the looming risks to public health. We’re happy to see that Sandy city now agrees.”
For further comment, or to schedule an interview, Soltysiak can be reached at 616-485-8290.