A response

Re: Vernon landfill eliminating carbon, by flaring gas

Re: Vernon landfill eliminating carbon, by flaring gas.

Toxic landfill gas flaring is more than methane. Landfill gas is not the same as “natural gas” or “methane.” The term “landfill methane” is deceiving as it implies that landfill gas is simply methane.

Landfill gas is about 45 to 55 per cent methane with the remainder mostly carbon dioxide [CO2]. It also contains hundreds of toxic contaminates known as Non-Methane Organic Compounds [NMOCs]. As well it contains inorganic toxic contaminates such as mercury and sometimes radioactive material known as “tritium.” NMOCs contain benzene, toluene chloroform, vinyl chloride and carbon tetrachloride.

Since “matter” cannot be created or destroyed, burning gas doesn’t “destroy it,“ but changes it into a different form of pollutant.

A report from the Environmental Protection agency states that burning landfill gas releases more pollution per unit of energy produced, than burning natural gas.

Toxic contaminates are not usually filtered out of landfill gas before being burnt. Some do utilize a gas filter to knock out sulfur and water vapor. Vernon landfill, water vapor only.

Many chlorinated contaminants in burned landfill gas creates  “dioxins” and “furons.” Dioxins are the most toxic chemical known to science. They are the carcinogen cancer causing chemical that has no safe low doses that cause cancer. These chemicals also cause damage to the immune system. These “dioxin” emissions cannot be measured, because of the temperature above dioxin formation range. Dioxins will form as the emissions cool down.

The other alternative is to burn the landfill gas in a turbine to produce electricity. This gas is more polluting than flaring, because of higher nitrogen oxides and particulate matter emissions.

So is “flaring” really doing any good to our environment ?  I think not. Are we managing our landfill to protect it from the forms of toxins that should not be dumped there?  Are we still flaring at our downtown sewage plant? Just remember, our prevailing winds are downstream of our solid waste disposal dump also.

Which business do we relocate first? The landfill or the sewage plant? Time to seriously think about this.

Bill Luchak


Vernon Morning Star

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