ATLANTA - The Montmorency-Oscoda-Alpena Solid Waste Management Authority voted to allow the Northeast Michigan Council of Governments update the solid waste plan for Montmorency and Oscoda to include and allow "processing" on site. The amendment to the plan is recommended by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality asked for it to consider a yet to be applied permit for the operation of Recovered Energy Resource's gasification plant at the landfill.
The board approved spending $5,000 to have NEMCOG make the necessary changes to the plan and now RER will move forward in communicating and coordinating with the DEQ so once the permit application is filed, the process could move forward in a more timely fashion. RER President Brad Schneider said during a telephone conference at Friday's landfill meeting that he already has made contact with the DEQ and he hopes to schedule a meeting with all of the department who might play a role in the permit process at one time.
"We have a couple things we have to do. One, amend the plan and the other thing is to sit down and meet with their group, because in addition to modifying the plan, we, RER, will have to have a waste processing permit," Schneider said. "They need to understand more about what we're doing and I'm going to have to sit down and go through things in more detail. If we're going to do what I said we should try to coordinate with the other agencies, air, water and she agreed and didn't have any problems with that."
Schneider said each separate department of the DEQ has a public comment period and he hopes to combine the public hearings into one if more than once permit is needed to speed the process up.
"Usually there is a 90 day window, but if we were coordinated we could do them together and not have to stack these things up," Schneider said. "Basically everyone would be running concurrently instead of one after the other."
Schneider said he would be coming to a landfill meeting in the not too distant future to provide further updates to the commissioners.
In other business:
Steve Schulwitz can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 358-5689.