This position paper was prepared by the Science Team at No Burn Broome. With such little time this represents work-in-progress and we reserve the right to update this position paper as new science and information comes in. Updated on April 26, 2020.
1. This lithium-ion battery recycling plant owned by Sungeel MCC Americas LLC (“Sungeel”) is being rushed through with little information being given to the Endicott community (or residents of Broome County who might also be impacted). The dangers have been hidden. Lithium-ion batteries present a well-known fire and explosion risk, yet no formal accident analysis has been performed.
2. The mayor’s description that this is simply a “recycling plant” as if it was separating bottles and cans, disguises the fact that it includes two potentially dangerous processes: a rotary kiln operating at 600 degrees centigrade [1112 F] and burner which burns the gases emitted from the kiln [1472 F or above] producing many dangerous products including dioxins and nanoparticles.
3. For those familiar with incinerators these steps are almost identical to a dual chamber incinerator a fact confirmed by US EPA Region 2 spokesperson who described the facility as a Commercial and Industrial Solid Waste Incinerator unit (CISWI).
4. The plant has the potential to emit many toxic substances including dioxins, furans, hydrogen fluoride, toxic metals, and many other toxic substances and nanoparticles. Like other incinerators the dangers posed will depend on how well the plant is operated, but even so nanoparticles – because they are so small – may evade most air pollution control devices and are not regulated or monitored by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).
5. The DEC has already given approval to this plant based upon totally inadequate monitoring data provided by the company itself. These included just a single measurement of dioxins made on one day. Experts in the field know that dioxin emissions can vary by over a factor of 1000 on a single day, especially during start-up, shut-down and upset conditions (there will be one start-up and shut-down each day). Taking the company’s single measurement at face value was a reckless and inexplicable act by the DEC in our view.
6. Current zoning for the location of this plant does not permit a recycling facility or any incinerating plant. The mayor is trying to get around this zoning restriction by offering a definition of “recycling” which includes the vague term “processing.” We hope the village board members will deny any zoning change that would allow the operation of this facility in Endicott. The first opportunity they will have to do this will be at the public hearing to be held via Zoom on May 4 at 7 pm. All citizens of Endicott and Broome County are invited to zoom (or phone) into this meeting. See the Calendar at No Burn Broome for details how to call in. We need residents to say, “We do not want re-zoning of this site. We do not want any incineration in Endicott or Broome County” -and then give your own reasons why (you can choose from the material below)
We have organized our concerns into 5 categories:
A. Lack of Sufficient Time for Democratic Public Participation.
B. Environmental and Human Health Risks.
C. Basic Plant Functioning.
D. Endicott-specific Location Concerns.
E. An alternative technology that might be better.
F. Notes on nanoparticles.