Power plant proposal brought to romulus news ithaca.com gas near me now

The Town of Romulus Planning Board will discuss at its meeting Dec. 4 the proposal of a waste to energy power plant facility in the former Seneca Army Depot that will likely have an impact on the surrounding areas as well as Romulus. According to the proposal documents, waste would be carried into the facility in trucks, and by train, and burned using furnaces fueled by natural gas to generate energy.

If passed, the 48-acre facility would be comprised of multiple buildings and would built in two phases. The first phase anticipates starting construction in December of 2019 with completion in 2021, allowing the facility to run at 50 percent of the design/permit capacity, bringing in 1,320 tons of waste per day. Phase two would begin in 2021, ending in 2023, and would bring the facility up to 100 percent capacity, bringing in 2,640 tons of waste per day. Part of the construction includes building a loading/unloading platform for trains to the station, upgrades to existing tracks, and the addition of a new loading/unloading track, a storage track, and a turnaround track. Once the facility is finished, the application estimates that the rail-haul operations would be capable of delivering up to 2,000 tons of waste per day. According to the executive summary, “The Facility is designed to receive, store, prepare for combustion, and combust 2,640” tons of municipal solid waste per day.

Until the train facility is built, the traffic study submitted with the proposal outlined the truck traffic that would be in and out of the plant. In total, 238 trucks, not including the vehicles of 85 employees, would be in and out on a daily basis. The executive summary estimates that 176 of those would be waste hauling trucks.

The traffic study conducted by SRF Associates was done on Thursday, Sept. 14 of this year, counting traffic at several nearby intersections between the hours of 7 to 9 a.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. The study concludes that the development is expected to generate 57 truck trips during the a.m. peak, and 23 truck trips during the p.m. peak, and that “there are no significant changes in levels of service as a result of the proposed NY Waste to Energy Facility and no mitigation is required or recommended at any of the study area intersections.”

But what has some local environmental groups already coming out against the project is the use of water from Seneca Lake being used as process water. According to the proposal documents, “The proposed project requires a constant supply of purified water… The process water demand is estimated at 445,000 gallons per day (309 gallons/minute).” The water would be drawn from the lake using an existing 8-inch watermain on the site, and would be treated onsite to meet the projects needs. The documents also note that a Water Withdrawal Permit from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) will likely be required for this.

In a message to its supporters, environmental group Gas Free Seneca urged those against the project to contact the Romulus Town Planning Board. The group gave a suggested email that their followers could send to the board that argued the trucks carrying waste could lower property values in an area that relies on the wine tourism industry, possibly causing economic harm to the area.

According to the executive summary, Circular energy LLC proposes that leachgate generated from the waste would be discharged to the county operated Wastewater Treatment Plant #4. The alternative suggested in the documents would be nearby Reeder Creek, which would require a NYSDEC State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit.