Although it now appears the controversial pet coke plant is unlikely to be built, Utah residents have still rallied at the Capitol recently to make sure their wishes are heard, and to help ensure that recent decisions to change the project are not reversed.
Because the issue is of such local concern, following are letters that were written just prior to the change in plans announced by Holly Oil.
My name is Janet Schieving and I live in West Bountiful.
I am writing to express my opposition to the proposed Consolidated Energy Utah, LLC cogeneration, pet coke-burning power plant to be built on Holly Refinery property in West Bountiful.
The Utah Division of Air Quality has issued an Intent to Permit, and I strongly urge you to exert whatever influence you have to ensure that this plant is never permitted or built.
I oppose this plant on three grounds. First, pet coke is a “bottom-of-the-barrel” by-product of the oil refining process that burns dirtier than coal, with a higher carbon and sulfur content than coal. I stand firmly opposed to this particular fuel source. Burning Petcoke emits numerous Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs) including mercury, vanadium, lead. nickel and benzene, among others.
These substances will harm my health and the health of my children, as HAPs are known cancer causers and can produce long-term neurological deficits in children, including reduced IQ and brain damage. This cannot be the future that we are even thinking about passing along to the children of Utah — one filled with toxic air and increased pollution. I believe that we can and should do better.
Second, in light of existing industry, freeways and a very unique valley geography, South Davis County cannot house one more major industrial polluter. In South Davis County alone, there are three major oil refineries, a medical waste incineration plant and two major closely-paralleling freeways.
The current annual point source emissions for Holly Refinery, the proposed site for the power plant, are over two million pounds a year, including sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), all of which contribute to poor air quality that lead to increased respiratory and cardiac health problems during our extended inversions in Davis County. We should not allow another point source for pollution on Holly Refinery property that will emit nearly another million pounds annually of these PM10 pollutants. We have reached the tipping-point in South Davis County. The health of our children cannot afford for those delegated permitting-power to get this wrong.
Finally, construction of a petcoke-burning power plant will have serious adverse economic consequences for South Davis County. People in other communities around the country that are located near petcoke-burning power plants have complained about wind-borne petcoke ash and dirty smokestack emissions that have blackened their homes and neighborhoods. It is likely that home values will decline and businesses will not be willing to locate in South Davis County due to the additional pollution and health risks.
I sincerely hope you share my vision for a brighter, healthier and cleaner future for all Utahns. Please take action today by doing what you can to stop this pet coke burning plant from being built where over 100,000 men, women and children’s health will be directly and adversely affected by projected emissions.