Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Power upgrades raise toxic waste concerns

Power upgrades raise toxic waste concerns

Thursday, 03 December 2009 04:12
by Jude Lizama | Variety News Staff

THE draft environmental impact statement raises concerns about hazardous materials and waste with regard to three possible Guam Power Authority power grid upgrade alternatives that must be achieved in order to absorb future electrical demands as a result of the U.S. military buildup.

The preferred system upgrade alternative, which would require the reconditioning of existing permitted facilities such as the Marbo, Yigo, Dededo No. 1, and Macheche combustion turbine units, which, according to the impact study, are not currently being used up to permit limits. Transmission and distribution upgrades would be made to existing above ground and underground transmission lines.

According to the impact study, the proposed system upgrade initiatives would result in the use of “slightly more hazardous materials,” such as petroleum, oils, and lubricants; and fuels for heavy equipment, vehicles, generators, and related activities.

Additionally, the use of such fuels that may post environmental concerns will be used for repair, replacement, or renovation activities related to the system upgrade initiatives.

The study estimates around 1,500 lbs of hazardous materials that would be generated annually as a result of the proposed reconditioning, upgrade and operational activities.

Cited effects of system upgrades include increases in hazardous materials storage, use, handling, generation, and disposal; increase in fueling operations; possible use of contaminated site footprints for reconditioning projects; and potential increases for site runoff.

Potential increased site runoff

The study also cited impacts to include spills during construction activities; increased risks to human health and the environment to include terrestrial and ecosystems; and “Violations of applicable federal, state, local, or DoD laws and regulations during construction and demolition operations.”

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