New group formed: No Incinerator for the Southern Tier

Note: Days after this release the group got a
website and the name was changed to No Burn Broome

April 17, 2020

Contact: Mary Ann Dorner
Email:  <maryannlovesteaching@yahoo.com>

New group formed: No Incinerator for the Southern Tier

On April 15, a new group formed to oppose the use of any incineration involved in the lithium battery recycling project in Endicott. They chose the name No Incinerator for the Southern Tier (NIST).

The Broome county residents want elected officials to represent their best interests in the pursuit of expanding opportunities for everyone. But they do not want to sacrifice either their health or the environment in the process.

The group recognizes society’s need to find ways to recycle lithium batteries, especially those used for electric cars, but a review of the scientific literature indicates that there are other ways of doing this which do not involve incineration.

According to the group’s science advisor, Paul Connett PhD, a retired chemistry professor and waste expert, a review article by Mossali et al. (2020), published in the Journal of Environmental Management, described the process to be used in Endicott as a “pyrometallurgical process” which puts out hazardous pollutants such as hydrogen fluoride, dioxins and carbon monoxide. But the same review article also describes “hydrometallurgical processes which do not involve high temperatures or burning and are run at ambient temperatures…”

Connett added, “In my view, the hydrometallurgical processes would be more appropriate for Endicott, because of this community’s legacy of pollution from the old IBM operation, and the topography of the valley which has many residents living above the height of the stack.”

The proponents of the project on the Endicott Village Council reject the fact that incineration is a part of this process. However, the state has clearly noted that incineration is involved when it issued a permit for this facility on March 30, 2020, to the Korean company Sungeel MMC of Americas LLC. The permit uses the language for incineration:

  • Combustion flue gases
  • Combustion chamber
  • “The facility owner or operator shall take all necessary and appropriate actions to prevent the emission of air pollutants that result in contravention of any applicable emission standard during periods of start-up, shutdown, or malfunction.” Note: these are the times when the greatest amount of pollutants is emitted.
  • The following emissions from this facility in the permit include: 2,3,7,8-dioxin; Chromium(VI); Beryllium; Cadmium; Formaldehyde; and Nickel. They are all known human carcinogens according to the International Agency for Cancer Research (IARC).
  • Mercury and lead emissions are also in the permit – both are well-known endocrine disruptors. And 2,3,7,8-dioxin is the most potent endocrine disruptor known.

On Monday night, April 20, at 7 pm, the village of Endicott will hold a Zoom hearing to adopt a definition of “recycling” into their Planning regulations. The new definition is purpose made for the battery-recycling project which involves incineration. We urge residents to attend and request that the definition of recycling excludes any high temperature processes or incineration at this site. Information on logging into the Zoom meeting in Endicott is available at https://endicottny.com/local-government/board-meetings/

The group welcomes new members to become founding members of NIST. It is in the process of preparing a website where all the documents related to the facility can be accessed.

If you have questions: contact Mary Ann Dorner <maryannlovesteaching@yahoo.com> or Paul Connett <pconnett@gmail.com>

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