citizens of the Cedar Valley address the proposal for a coal burning power plant

Waterloo, Iowa

City Council meeting

May 7, 2007

 

 

 

c e d a r v a l l e y s p e a k s

Group 3

3. JIM HUTCHEON, 145 DERBYSHIRE ROAD, W¹LOO.

SINCE I¹VE NEVER BEEN IN THE POSITION OF A CITY COUNCIL MEMBER, I CAN ONLY GUESS AT YOUR LEVEL OF STRESS IN MAKING SUCH IMPORTANT DECISIONS. AS I CONTINUE,  PLEASE FORGIVE ME FOR INDULGING IN AN OLD METAPHOR. ISN¹T RUSHING TO ANNEX THE PROPERTY FOR LS POWER, ³PUTTING THE CART BEFORE THE HORSE?² ACCORDING TO YESTERDAY¹S COURIER EDITORIAL, AFTER 18 MONTHS, LS POWER HAS YET TO REVEAL PLANT SPECIFICATIONS, AS WELL AS LACKING  APPROVAL FROM THE IOWA DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES AND IOWA UTILITIES BOARD.

SO WHY GET THE CART STARTED DOWN A POTENTIALLY RISKY SLOPE WHEN THE HORSE ISN¹T EVEN OUT OF THE BARN?

WHAT RISKS?  YOU RECEIVED A LIST OF QUESTIONS CONCERNING POTENTIAL PROBLEMS ON THE 27th OF APRIL. THESE QUESTIONS NEED TO BE ADDRESSED PRIOR TO FINAL DECISIONS.  UPON MY RECEIVING A COPY OF THIS LIST, I WAS OVERWHELMED WHEN  READING ABOUT THE COMPLEXITIES AND POSSIBLE CONSEQUENCES OF NOT HAVING TECHNICAL EXPERTS THOROUGHLY RESEARCH THE ANSWERS.  

AS ONE EXAMPLE OF THESE UNCERTAINTIES, I WAS STRUCK BY THE QUESTION, ³HOW WILL THE 12 - 15 MILLION GALLONS OF WATER NEEDED TO COOL THE PLANT¹S TURBINES BE PROVIDED?² IT LOOKS LIKE LS POWER EXPECTS TO USE WASTE WATER FROM THE WATERLOO WATERWORKS PLANT. IT SOUNDS PLAUSIBLE,  BUT HOW WILL IT GET THERE? IT¹S APPROXIMATELY 5 MILES, AS THE CROW FLIES, FROM THE PROPOSED SITE TO THE WATERWORKS - CROSSING THE CEDAR RIVER AND THROUGH MANY PROPERTIES. THE WASTE WATER FROM THE COOLING PROCESS WILL THEN BE RETURNED TO THE CEDAR RIVER. THE QUESTION:  ³WHO WILL MONITOR THE QUALITY OF THIS WASTE WATER?²

MY THANKS TO THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE ALREADY DISCUSSED THESE ISSUES WITH ME. IT IS VERY UNFORTUNATE THAT THESE QUESTIONS WERE NOT AVAILABLE PRIOR TO THE PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION¹S CLOSE VOTE. PLEASE DON¹T PUT YOURSELVES IN THE POSITION OF RUSHING TO A DECISION REGARDING ANNEXATION.

I¹M CONFIDENT THAT MANY OF THE QUESTIONS  ON THE LONG LIST PRESENTED TO YOU ON APRIL 27TH ARE TOO COMPLEX TO BE ANSWERED BY ANYONE WITHOUT TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE. I¹M URGING YOU TO CAST A ³NO² VOTE OR AT LEAST TO TABLE THIS ISSUE UNTIL AN IN-DEPTH STUDY CAN BE MADE.

IF ANYONE HERE THIS EVENING WOULD LIKE A LIST OF THE QUESTIONS THAT WERE PRESENTED TO THE CITY COUNCIL, I WOULD BE HAPPY TO PROVIDE A COPY.