Biomass facility will maximize exposure to dioxins

To the editor:

Jay Catasein’s website originally unethically omitted dioxin toxicity, like Agent Orange, which poisoned thousands of Vietnam vets. His “corrected” version extrapolates “from EPA data” that the Jasper Clean Energy Center will emit “only 1/1000 of 1 percent” of 6.5 pounds of dioxin produced in Dubois County a year — a “measly” 29,500 micrograms. The 2012 EPA dioxin noncancer limit is .7 picograms per kilogram per day,which equals .0179 micrograms of dioxin per person per year, based on sound studies of dioxin levels that protect male fertility. 1,000,000,000,000 picograms equal 1 million micrograms equal 1 gram; 454 grams equal 1 pound.  

Catasein and Jasper officials callously shroud that Dubois County alone — don’t blame others — produces 2,951,000,000 micrograms dioxin, the “noncancer limit/ per year” for 164,860,335,195 persons. The Jasper Clean Energy Center dioxin is enough for just 1,648,044 more average adults’ yearly limit or 36,256,983 average-weight newborns.

The plant’s location maximizes human exposure. Dioxins contaminate our foods; like innocent children, organic crops and pastures are “sprayed.” Dioxins degrade slowly over decades, accumulating in the environment and human tissue. Pregnancy and breast-feeding effectively recycle dioxins, which disrupt thyroid and sexual hormonal function.

MostardiPlatt (Catasein’s consultant) reports miscanthus equals coal for nitrous emissions. From the Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s website: “(Nitrogen dioxide) is a highly toxic, reddish brown gas that forms quickly from fuel combustion in industrial sources and vehicles. It creates an odorous haze that causes eye and sinus irritation, blocks natural sunlight and reduces visibility. ... It contributes to the formation of ground-level ozone and fine particle pollution.” Although Jasper Utility Service Board and Memorial Hospital board member Ken Sendelweck’s lease-vote speech preaches “heavily monitored” emissions, the nearest downwind monitor of oxides of nitrogen is 100 miles away. The closest ozone monitor is in Leopold. Jasper’s particulate matter monitor skips two out of three days and ultrafines.

These facts only scratch the surface of what’s wrong with the person, proposal, propaganda and poisoning that Jasper officials have intentionally and arrogantly wasted more than $700,000 to develop and defend. Their partial information, corrupt science and legal overspending makes Obamacare look streamlined, transparent and fiscally conservative.

Local media carefully camouflage Jasper government’s “Twisted” thinking:
1. Biomass incineration is “clean” despite producing millions of dioxin doses.
2. Only money matters, not damaged children or fertility.
3. Never admit mistakes. Claim innocence. Create confusion.
4. Whine about watchdogs but keep spending.

—Norma Schue Kreilein, MD, FAAP

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