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http://pesn.com/2009/08/07/9501560_CEO_appealing_GreenPowerInc_shut-down_order/
You are here:
PureEnergySystems.com > News > August 7, 2009

Spitzauer appealing Green Power Inc. shut-down order

Michael Spitzauer, CEO, said that his company's municipal-waste-to-power process does not emit the compounds in question, and that the Washington State Ecology Department's concerns are unfounded in which they claim GPI  has "not provided adequate compliance with the environmental air quality regulations."

by Sterling D. Allan
Pure Energy Systems News
Copyright © 2009


This is a photo I took in May 2008 when I visited the plant just after it was first operational.

 


Green Power Inc (GPI) of Pasco, Washington, who has a technology to turn municipal waste into high-grade fuel and electricity, was ordered Wednesday by the state's Ecology Department to shut down within three days because they have "not provided adequate compliance with the environmental air quality regulations."

From what I can gather, it is a situation of a company that is easily in compliance with the spirit of the law, but which has not satisfied the minutia of the bureaucratic hoop-jumping required.

GPI was already eight months into the construction of their 100-tons-per-day proof of concept commercial plant when they began dialogue in February of 2008 with the Ecology Department, which requires permits before construction begins.  The Ecology Department let it slide, and began dialogue about compliance.  

But apparently one of the Ecology engineers was not satisfied with the information provided by GPI, and didn't feel that there was enough information to award a certification of compliance.  He took the non-communication on the part of GPI as non-compliance, when perhaps it was more a function of a company overwhelmed with interest from around the world.

GPI CEO, Michael Spitzauer told me yesterday that the GPI process is "fully enclosed" and that there are no emissions,  so the state's concerns about "possible high potency carcinogens such as dioxins and furans being emitted" is moot.

"Mr. Spitzauer may say that his technology produces no emissions, but he has not proven this to us, despite repeated opportunities," replied Seth Preston, Communications Manager, Air Quality and Toxics Cleanup Programs, Washington Department of Ecology.  "We work hard with companies of all kinds throughout Washington to help them comply with state and federal air quality requirements. Many of these companies are very pleased with our cooperation and assistance. We have never encountered a situation such as this, and we cannot recall any other instance in which we have taken such actions against a company.  I hope this conveys the seriousness of the situation."

On Wednesday, Aug. 5, Ecology ordered GPI to stop operating the synthetic fuel reactor immediately and shut down the system permanently within three days. The company also was denied an air quality permit, and has received a second notice of violation that could lead to financial penalties.

Ironically, the Ecology Department claims to be supportive of green technology initiatives such as GPI.  "We actively support innovative energy production in Washington state and work hard to help industry through the permitting phase so that we can foster healthy economic growth," said Grant Pfeifer, Ecology's Eastern Regional Office manager. "But our job is to make sure we get jobs and industry that don't harm our citizens and communities with pollution. In this case, we weren't given the chance to give the public that assurance."

Green Power has 30 days to appeal the order to shut down to either Ecology or the state's Pollution Control Hearings Board in Olympia. It also has 30 days to respond to the latest notice of violation.

Spitzauer intends to appeal the shut-down order, and has his lawyers working on the situation.  They have 30 days to appeal the order to shut down to either Ecology or the state's Pollution Control Hearings Board in Olympia. They also have 30 days to respond to the latest notice of violation.

In response to the news of the Ecology order to shut down, Spitzauer said that he's had nearly a continual stream of emails and calls urging him to press forward; and he said he intends to do just that.

For the last year, the company has been in contract discussions with a number of U.S. and foreign entities interested in installing one or more of these plants, of which the Pasco plant is a production prototype, able to process 100 tons per day.  "We would not need to import any foreign oil if we could turn our municipal waste stream into fuel," Spitzauer has told me.

In a spirit of full disclosure, I need to state that I have been involved in GPI at various levels for the past year plus, so this is not an independent account.  I'm confident that Michael is doing the best he can, given the hug load he's under to do a zillion things at once, while also attending to the needs of his own health and family and friend.  I can relate to that.  

God bless us all.  These are exciting and trying times.

# # #

SOURCES:

  • http://www.ecy.wa.gov/news/2009news/2009-195.html - The state of Washington's Ecology Department's press release, Aug. 5, 2009.
  • Phone call with Michael Spitzauer, CEO, Green Power Inc.
  • Email from Seth Preston, Communications Manager, Air Quality and Toxics Cleanup Programs, Washington Department of Ecology.

Follow-up

  • Green Power Inc CEO under investigation - Green Power CEO Michael Spitzauer is the subject of an investigation by the Securities Division of Washington state's Department of Financial Institutions. He also has been sued by business partners..., and he's been sued at least three times in the last year in Franklin County Superior Court for failure to pay bills. (News Tribune, Tacoma, WA; August 11, 2009)

See also

Page composed by Sterling D. Allan Aug. 4, 2009
Last updated September 02, 2009
 
 

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