Il n'est pas
L'incinération de déchets toxiques n'est pas une
façon acceptable de s'occuper des déchets dangereux.
Il n'existe aucun incinérateur au monde qui a
réussi avec succès à se défaire de déchets dangereux. Il est assuré
que l'incinération de déchets contaminera l'environnement dans la
région de l'incinérateur.
Le Club Sierra du Canada a établit trois critères
pour la destruction sécuritaire des déchets dangereux:
1. La destruction doit détruire complètement les
2. Les résidus doivent être confinés;
3. Le processus doit se faire sans émissions.
Le processus de réduction à l'hydrogène rencontre
ces critères. C'est un processus en circuit fermé, ce qui virtuellement
entraîne aucune émission. Effectivement, il existe des alternatives à
Sacrifice Zones Are
Campaigner for the Sierra Club of Canada
Conservation Campaigner for the
Sierra Club of Canada, I am concerned about the Bennett
incinerator proposed for
(photo: CBC News, October 2003. Quebec and New Brunswick
residents stage a protest against Bennett Environmental's plans
to build a toxic soil
treatment plant in Belledune)
I have been concerned about toxics issues for many
years living in Sydney, Nova Scotia where incineration of PCB
contaminated coal tars is being considered. Incineration of toxic
waste is an unacceptable solution to dealing with toxic waste.
As well as the CO2, SO2, NOx and heavy metals that are
given off when these materials are burned, dioxins and furans
(extremely toxic compounds) are released into the atmosphere
everywhere chlorinated wastes are incinerated.
Much of the concern about toxic waste incineration is
the threat of blowouts or upsets. During power interruptions or
mechanical malfunctions, the emergency vent stack on the incinerator
opens, flushing the contaminants into the surrounding atmosphere.
The two licensed facilities in Canada (Swan Hills,
Alberta and St-Ambroise, Quebec) designed
to burn these wastes have both contaminated the surrounding soils and
or wildlife. Both of these incinerators were supposed to completely
destroy the contaminants without these emissions.
There is no incinerator anywhere in the world that has
successfully burned hazardous waste. In recognition of this fact both
the US and Australia have investigated
safe alternatives to incineration. Both have concluded that one of the
few technologies that is effective and commercially available is a
Canadian technology from PLI Eco Logic called hydrogen reduction. This
reduction process is coupled with a thermal desorption technology that
first concentrates the waste or removes it from its matrix. In the
absence of oxygen, hydrogen reduces the toxins to methane gas and
salty water. Eco Logic's web page is http://www.eco-logic-intl.com/.
Logic's Stationary Unit, Australia)
The Sierra Club of Canada has three criteria for the
safe destruction of hazardous waste:
1. It must completely destroy the waste
2. The residues must be contained
3. There must be no emissions from the process
Hydrogen reduction meets these criteria. It is a
closed loop system, which means virtually zero emissions from the
An excellent primer on alternatives to incineration
and effective community action is Learning Not to Burn, A primer
for citizens on alternatives to burning hazardous waste <pdf
Elizabeth Crowe, Chemical Weapons Working Group / Mike Schade,
Citizens’ Environmental Coalition, June 2002.
Incineration of waste guarantees the environment
surrounding the site will be contaminated. Promises of safe,
effective, well regulated burning are meaningless and only placate a
community long enough to victimize them. Dr. Neil Carman, a former
incinerator inspector in the state of Texas, disputes the reliability
of test burns to determine the amount of toxins being released into
the air. He says the "hype about DRE (or destruction removal
efficiency) is meaningless". According to Carman, the DRE only
measures the stack emissions under ideal conditions for three 6-hour
burns. What is not measured are dioxin by-products, or PCBs that end
up in the fly ash, or the residual toxins which continue to accumulate
in the stack after the test burn.
"Incinerator permits are filled with
loopholes," says Dr Carman. "I haven't seen an incinerator
that didn't cause some kind of problem in the community." It is
essential to say NO to hazardous waste burning because safe
and effective alternatives exist.
You can find more information on incineration at our
local Sierra Club of Canada web site www.safecleanup.com
Growing Storm Over Bennett
by Brit Griffin, HighGrader
Magazine, Spring 2002
“In early April, 34
doctors, representing nearly the entire medical community of
Temiskaming, released a warning about the potential health effects of
burning PCBs, dioxins and furans at the proposed incinerator.
"PCBs, dioxins and
furans, and heavy metals are harmful to fetuses, babies and children,
leading to abortion, genetic malformations, cancers and mental and
Accident Reports Contradict
EA Claims on Bennett Incinerator
– At a press conference held at Queen’s Park today, NDP
Environment Critic Marilyn Churley released a series of damning
documents about the controversial Bennett incinerator. The reports,
dating from October 2001 to March 2002, list a series of accidental
releases at Bennett’s existing incinerator in St. Ambroise,
Quebec. In each incident, toxins were blown out into the surrounding
environment through the opening of the emergency release stack. The
reports contradict claims being made by the company in their draft EA
Ontario’s Ministry of Environment.
(photo of Belledune: CBC News)
Marilyn Churley was joined in this press conference by Terry Graves of
Public Concern Temiskaming. He points out that under the scoped EA
process, the MOE is unlikely to even look at Bennett’s track record.
The EA relies entirely on studies supplied by company-paid
“We have documents that reveal a pattern of upsets and blow outs at
the existing Bennett incinerator,” says
Graves. “They contradict the claims being made by the Bennett EA
submission. No wonder the MOE doesn’t want to hold full or public
hearings. If the MOE dealt with the hard evidence of Bennett’s track
record, there’s no way the incinerator would ever be licensed in Ontario.”
Bennett has claimed in its EA submission that if there were any
accidental releases of toxins through emergency stack, the stack would
not be left open for more than a minute. Documents, however, show a
series of accidents where toxins were being released for anywhere from
two to 14 minutes. The causes of these incidents ranged from human
error to mechanical breakdowns.
says even one blow out, let alone a series of blow outs, as suggested
by these reports, poses serious health concerns.
“The Bennett incinerator is going to be built near two grade schools
and a day care,” says
Graves. “It will be burning extremely dangerous toxins such as dioxin.
There is no safe level for exposure to these toxins.”
Public Concern Temiskaming is calling on the MOE to undertake a full
and independent audit of Bennett’s existing incinerator at St.
Ambroise. In addition, they want the Province to force the company to
disclose any and all accident reports and upset incidents that have
occurred at the plant over the last five years.
Wild Game and Fish Health
Advisory (Swan Hills Area)
As a result of an air emissions release containing PCBs, dioxins
and furans at the Swan Hills Waste Treatment Centre on October 16,
1996, a wild game and fish public health advisory has been issued for
the consumption of game and fish taken from the Swan Hills area. While
no immediate public health threat exists for those who eat wild game
or fish from the area, it is recommended that consumption of these
foods be limited (and in some cases avoided) as regular consumption
over an extended period of time could be harmful.
of the Process Snatchers.
Tory EA sink farmers over toxic incinerator plan?
By Brit Griffin,
“In one six-month period
last winter (2001), the St. Ambroise incinerator suffered at least
seven upsets. And unlike
Bennett's claim of being able to limit the occurrences to a maximum of
60 seconds, the upsets ranged in duration from three minutes to a
whopping 14 minutes.
"These accident reports completely contradict the claims being
made in the Bennett EA submission," says Terry Graves of Public
Concern Temiskaming. "No wonder the MOE doesn't want to hold full
hearings. If the MOE dealt with the hard evidence of Bennett's track
record, there's no way this incinerator would be licensed in Ontario."
charges that the MOE is
actively prejudicing the process by intervening to limit the use of
the accident reports in any serious scrutiny of Bennett's EA
Excerpt from ‘Impediments in the Establishment of Scheduled Waste
Treatment Facilities in Australia’
In Australia, proposals to implement high
temperature incineration facilities have failed at the community
consultation step, even in cases where the regulatory bodies had
agreed that the proposal was consistent with their normal approval
requirements for industrial facilities, and would not pose an
unacceptable risk. This has extended to facilities which have been
proposed in extremely remote areas. This has led to an effective
outlawing of the incineration of scheduled wastes in Australia
Community consultation has
been less of a concern with regard to the non-incineration scheduled
waste treatment processes (such as Eco Logic and BCD). This appears to
be a result of several factors: the facilities pose a lesser risk
because they are smaller and the process is more contained; the key
stakeholders have not formed a strong policy position against these
processes; and the companies involved have learnt to negotiate their
way through the consultation process.
While a detailed
discussion of approaches to the management of community consultation
processes is beyond the scope of this report, based on experience with
the implementation of scheduled waste treatment facilities, some of
the factors affecting the success of such programs would appear to
with the national environmental groups (and other interested
parties) in order to obtain an in principle acceptance of the
proposed technology (minimizing the extent to which process
considerations are confused with site-specific considerations);
- selection of
an appropriate location for treatment facilities, which will be
supported by the relevant authorities.
regular communication with the local community on relevant issues
(e.g. ongoing community/industry consultation groups);
- allocation of
sufficient time to the community consultation process, rather than
attempting to compress the consultation process.
consulting firm] concludes that community consultation is a critical
aspect of the establishment of scheduled waste treatment facilities in
Australia. With non-high temperature
incineration processes, it appears that community consultation will
not result in insurmountable obstacles and, in itself, is not
sufficient to preclude investment by companies that propose to install
a treatment facility. In the case of high temperature incineration,
community opinion is likely to continue to preclude the establishment
of a facility.
From: CMPS&F –
. 1997. ‘Appropriate
Technologies for the Treatment of Hazardous Wastes.’