CADILLAC, MICH. (Nov. 13, 2000) — A plan to replace part of the fuel at a wood-fired generating plant with scrap tires is drawing opposition from neighbors, who say they fear the proposal will create air pollution and acid rain.
Cadillac Renewable Energy, a 40-megawatt plant built in 1993, is permitted to burn wood as fuel, using scrap from local sawmills, waste from the thinning of area forests, and other scrap wood at a rate of about 1,000 tons per day, plant engineer James Charles said.
"What we want to do is to replace about 5 percent of the wood with TDF—tire-derived fuel—as a way of reducing our costs, and tests have shown that the net effect on pollutants would be positive," he said.
But a group of residents say they would prefer that the plant not burn any tires. And if the plant does burn tires, the residents say they want plant officials to add scrubbers to the stack to remove sulfur dioxide and lead from the emissions.
"Cadillac is a resort town on two lakes," said Joyce Petrakovitz, head of Cadillac Area Citizens for Clean Air, a group that opposes the tire burning. "All we have to offer the world is our clean environment and beautiful surroundings, and we fear that they´re proposing to put all of this at risk just because they don´t want to spend $600,000 for scrubbers."