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Every year 24,000 people die prematurely because of pollution from coal-fired power plants.

Every year 38,000 heart attacks occur because of pollution from coal-fired power plants.

Every year 12,000 hospital admissions and 550,000 people suffering asthma attacks result from power plant pollution.

Every year, coal-fired power plants release 48 tons of mercury nationwide.

Power plants release over 40% of total U.S. C02 emissions, a primary contributor to global warming...

...and yet the coal industry wants you to believe that building more coal fired power plants in Michigan is a good idea!

...and now utilities want to burn (as biomass) our trees that capture and store harmful carbon dioxide and produce the oxygen we need to live


Talking Trash

In the early 1970s, ecologist Barry Commoner wrote The Closing Circle, in which he discussed the rapid growth of industry and technology and their persistent effect on all forms of life.

He suggested that we can reduce the negative effects by sensitizing, informing and educating ourselves about our connection to the natural world. Commoner summarized the basics of ecology into what he termed “laws of ecology.”

Here are five laws of ecology:

1. Everything is connected to everything else.

2. Everything has to go somewhere or there is no such place as away.

3. Everything is always changing.

4. There is no such thing as a free lunch.

5. Everything has limits.

The following biomass energy permits are available for public review
Coastal Container Corp.
Northern Michigan University

Biomass Defined in Michigan Law:
Act No. 295 Public Acts of 2008 (Senate Bill 213)
AN ACT to require certain providers of electric service to establish renewable energy programs; to require certain providers of electric or natural gas service to establish energy optimization programs; to authorize the use of certain energy systems to meet the requirements of those programs; “Biomass” means any organic matter that is not derived from fossil fuels, that can be converted to usable fuel for the production of energy: (i) Agricultural crops and crop wastes. (ii) Short-rotation energy crops. (iii) Herbaceous plants. (iv) Trees and wood... (v) Paper and pulp products. (vi) Precommercial wood thinning waste, brush, or yard waste. (vii) Wood wastes and residues from the processing of wood products or paper. (viii) Animal wastes. (ix) Wastewater sludge or sewage. (x) Aquatic plants. (xi) Food production and processing waste. (xii) Organic by-products from the production of biofuels. [Editor: This is biomass. If there are substances listed here that you do not feel should be burned, it would be best to indicate these limitation in any permit for operation of a facility. You may also wish to be specific if you wish to exclude tire burning at a biomass or co-generation facility.]

The City of Detroit’s garbage incinerator - the largest trash incinerator in the world - has long been a scourge of local residents and environmental justice groups. It burns nearly 800,000 tons of trash per year, emitting hazardous air pollutants including mercury, lead, and dioxins. Asthma hospitalization rates in Detroit are over three times the average rate of the state of Michigan. In part due to the incinerator, Detroit is the only city of the 30 largest cities in the United States without any significant curbside recycling program

Incineration for Energy is NOT Safe
For decades the tobacco industry told us that cigarettes were safe. Now the waste incineration industry wants us to believe they are coming clean? Despite the latest spin, there is nothing better about burning garbage today, whether in the U.S. or in Denmark. Attempts to peddle waste-to-energy facilities haven’t gained wide acceptance around the world because people are aware that incineration:

  • Remains a serious threat to public health. Burning garbage is a primary source of cancer-causing dioxins and other pollutants that enter the food supply and concentrate up through the food chain.
  • Produces more carbon dioxide per unit of electricity than coal power. Current atmospheric carbon loads cannot safely bear additional emissions from incinerators and landfills.
  • Is a huge waste of energy. Due to its low calorific value, burning garbage to produce energy is highly inefficient. Conversely, recycling recovers three to five times more energy than incineration produces.

New Envion Facility Turns Plastic Waste into $10/Barrel Fuel
What if we could turn all the plastic waste we create on a daily basis into fuel to power our cars? A Washington, DC-based company called Envion claims it can do just that with a process that turns plastic into an oil-like fuel for just $10 per barrel. According to Envion, the resulting fuel can be blended with other components and used as either gasoline or diesel.

Billion-Dollar Boondoggle
Wasteful and impractical only begin to describe how the City of Detroit, faced with a $300 million deficit for the current fiscal year, will have misspent about one billion dollars over the course of 20 years on a single project—the Detroit Incinerator…

Incineration is Big Climate Problem, New Report Says
Detroit has the largest incinerator in the world. Opponents of the incinerator have long expressed concerns about the negative health and economic impacts of the incinerator. A new national report titled Stop Trashing the Climate shows that closing the incinerator and implementing a recycling program in Detroit is also a necessary step to reduce the city’s impact on climate change. The incinerator has cost Detroit 1.2 billion dollars in its 20 years of operation, and has disproportionately plagued neighboring residents with pollution linked to high asthma rates and other illness. The report also shows that incinerators emit even more CO2 per unit of electricity generated than coal-fired power plants. Incinerating materials also wastes three to five times the amount of energy that recycling materials conserves. This is akin to using 3 to 5 units of energy to produce one unit of energy.

The Big Burn
To burn, or not to burn — that is the question. Confronted with that same dilemma more than two decades ago, the city responded by constructing the largest municipal waste incinerator in America. Detroit went for the big burn — and has been paying for it in a big way ever since

Appeals Court Finds Widespread Failure by EPA to Investigate Civil Rights Complaints
U.S. EPA's Office of Civil Rights has shown a systemic refusal to address allegations of discrimination in the use of agency funds, according to a unanimous three-judge panel on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

EPA Reform Called For
Jackson in a statement to Inside EPA says the Sept. 17 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in Rosemere Neighborhood Association v. EPA “found a consistent pattern of EPA delays in responding to complaints under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. These delays are indefensible and unacceptable.

Dioxin Is a Burning Issue Health: Incinerators get blame
Dioxin, which is among the most toxic of all manufactured chemicals, is a byproduct of some industrial processes and also is generated when plastics are burned at low temperatures. Recognized as a major public health hazard in the U.S. in the mid-1970s, it is known to produce skin disease, muscle dysfunction, nervous system disorders and birth defects, and has also been linked to cancer.

Burning Trash pdf
The Detroit incinerator (the world’s largest) had to be shut down temporarily in 1990 because of mercury escape, a common problem because mercury’s condensation temperature is so low.(117,123) Batteries are the cause of the mercury, lead, and cadmium problems in incinerators.

Expansion of garbage burning assailed as adding to emissions
Greenhouse gas emissions will increase in British Columbia if the province follows through with a new program to burn garbage for energy, warns a waste system analyst.

Exploring the “CO2 Neutral” Myth

10 Reasons Why Gasification, Pyrolysis & Plasma Incineration are Not “Green Solutions” PDF
Studies that have comprehensively reviewed gasification, pyrolysis and plasma incinerators have found that they provide little to no benefit when compared to mass burn incinerators, while being an even riskier investment. For example, the Fichtner Consulting Engineers report The Viability of Advanced Thermal Treatment in the UK commissioned by the United Kingdom Environmental Services Training in 2004 states that, “Many of the perceived benefits of gasification and pyrolysis over combustion technology proved to be unfounded. These perceptions have arisen mainly from inconsistent comparisons in the absence of quality information.”1 The core impacts of all types of incinerators remain the same: they are toxic to public health, harmful to the economy, environment and climate, and undermine recycling and waste reduction programs.

Health Consequences of Burning Trash

Significant Reduction of UVB Caused by Smoke from Biomass Burning
There is an increased incidence of respiratory, cardiopulmonary and other diseases associated with severe air pollution. The bactericidal effects of solar UVB are well known, and significantly reduced UVB resulting from severe air pollution in regions where UVB levels are ordinarily high might enhance the survivability of pathogenic organisms in air and water and on surfaces exposed to sunlight.

Environmental Impacts

Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States
This web page will introduce and lead you through the content of the most comprehensive and authoritative report of its kind. The report summarizes the science and the impacts of climate change on the United States, now and in the future. It focuses on climate change impacts in different regions of the U.S. and on various aspects of society and the economy such as energy, water, agriculture, and health. It’s also a report written in plain language, with the goal of better informing public and private decision making at all levels.

NASA: Biomass Burning
Scientists estimate that humans are responsible for about 90% of biomass burning with only a small percentage of natural fires contributing to the total amount of vegetation burned. Burning vegetation releases large amounts of particulates (solid carbon combustion particles) and gases, including greenhouse gases that help warm the Earth. Greenhouse gases may lead to an increased warming of the Earth or human-initiated global climate change. Studies suggest that biomass burning has increased on a global scale over the last 100 years, and computer calculations indicate a hotter Earth resulting from global warming. Biomass burning particulates impact climate and can also affect human health when they are inhaled, causing respiratory problems.

Policy, Education, and Citizen Action



Quit Coal


Coal Kills

Coal Causes Disease

Coal Costs Taxpayers

Coal Pollutes the Environment

Coal Contributes to Climate Change

Burning Coal is a Seriously Stupid Idea!

Working to make Michigan the Leader in Solutions - not pollution