CalRecycle Decision Sets Back Plasco Gasification Plant
May 29, 2012
The Plasco Energy Group’s proposed garbage gasification facility at the Johnson Canyon Landfill in Gonzales just hit a glitch.
On May 23, CalRecycle reversed its earlier pre-determination that Plasco's Gonzales plant would qualify as renewable energy under state law. Without that green star, utility companies can't use it toward their required 20 percent renewable energy quota.
Two days later, the Salinas Valley Solid Waste Authority wrote a letter to Gov. Jerry Brown, asking him to override CalRecycle's decision.
Plasco's gasification technology heats garbage to turn it into gas. But local environmentalists—citing issues at Plasco's pilot plant in Canada—worry about its polluted emissions, with backing from the county Environmental Health Department. And Gonzales activists with Asamblea de Poder Popular allege SVSWA didn't adequately include non-English speakers in the public process.
"Gasification is great technology for green jobs and as well as a green process for disposing of solid waste," writes Rita Dalessio of the Sierra Club's Ventana Chapter, "but there is not the confidence that Plasco, with its record in Ottawa, would be the best contractor for this project."