Governor Mapp Is Wrong; A Waste To Energy System Can Be Implemented Here

Dear Source:

Our Governor has shown the strong convictions and lack of knowledge of many subjects concerning the wellbeing of our community: from placing untrained family and friends into leadership positions to the decisions being made now concerning the current and future priorities of our community.

Our community is at a “fork in the road.” We have a near bankrupt government, a very serious deficit in our government retirement system and a serious reduction in income due to the historical lack of attention to our dwindling tourist industry.  Now we have been devastated by natural disasters.  At this moment. the Federal Government is willing to help.  Our Governor and the leaders of our community need to start to understand that they need to plan for our future as well as cleaning up and repairing the current damage.  We need to start this process now, to handle enormous amount of waste generated by the storms and for the wellbeing of our community.

In mid-October the Governor named a “Hurricane Recovery Task Force” to aid in the recovery and preparation for the future of our community.  One of the members was Judith Enck, past Regional Administrator of the EPA.  Ms. Enck has been in the Territory many times presenting ways to a better administration of our wastes and in general has been able to have little impact.  Hopefully, now we can use her resources and expertise to create a system to handle our wastes now and in the future.

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The Environmentally Sound Standard of the order of waste management is: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Energy Recovery and Disposal.

Let’s salvage everything we can from the current disasters and move forward to become a functioning Community.

11/11/17 post from the Governor’s office:

“Responding to calls for the construction of a waste energy facility in the Territory, Governor Mapp said: “I restate my full opposition to waste energy facilities in the Virgin Islands. I have challenged everyone that has come before me … to identify … a plant that exists anywhere on U.S. soil that has been permitted by the (Environmental Protection Agency) EPA for waste energy.” He stressed such a facility would require significantly more tonnage of waste than what is produced in the Virgin Islands.”

Information from:

“An analysis of a compilation of over 330 WTE plants in Europe by the International Solid Waste Association showed that there are about 170 small scale plants in Europe. It was determined that 84 plants (nearly 25% of the total number of plants included in the ISWA survey) have an annual capacity of less than 50,000 tons and another 85 plants range in capacity from 50,000 and 100,000 tons. The total capacity of these small scale plants is just over 8.5 million tons of feedstock combusted.”

 Information from Scientific American

“There are currently 86 waste-to-energy facilities in the United States. According to the Energy Recovery Council, they provide 2,700 MW of clean electricity on a 24-hour-per-day, 365-day-per-year basis — enough to power about 2 million homes.

From the sidewalk, there’s almost no evidence that behind the walls of the energy-from-waste plant in Alexandria, Va., an incinerator is burning garbage at more than 1,700 degrees Fahrenheit and providing electricity to thousands of homes.

“Everything that the resident puts out on the street in a trash can comes here,” said Bryan Donnelly, the facility manager. At his location, that amounts to about 350,000 tons of municipal waste per year.

The plant, built in 1988, processes garbage from all of Alexandria and Arlington, Va., and some parts of the District of Columbia and Maryland. Heat from the high-temperature incineration of waste, which company representatives call a ‘clean burn,’ runs a generator that puts 23 megawatts of electricity back on the grid — enough to power 20,000 homes.

The facility is owned and operated by Covanta Energy Corp., one of the leaders in converting solid waste into energy, with 41 plants in North America. On average, the company produces 550 to 750 kilowatt-hours of electricity per ton of waste, said Chief Sustainability Officer Paul Gilman. While the power comes from burning garbage, there’s a big difference between a traditional incinerator and what Covanta does, he said – ’we’re a power plant.’

“We have the same waste hierarchy as the E.U.: reduce, reuse, recycle, energy recovery and disposal,” said Gilman. “[This] is that step we call the ‘fourth R.’ After you reduce, reuse and recycle that, you take the step of energy recovery before you put it in the ground.”

But Covanta’s Gilman said the real savings are in reducing landfill methane emissions. For every ton of waste that goes through the facility, he contends, a ton of greenhouse gas emissions is avoided. Two-thirds of the incinerated material is biomass. The remaining one-third is essentially a fossil fuel.”

Carbon savings come from the offsetting of methane emissions that would have been released if the ton of waste had gone to a landfill. Methane is 21 percent more potent as a global warmer than carbon dioxide.

Sweden now imports about 700,000 tons of garbage per year to help produce electricity and heating for cities such as Helsingborg, a historic coastal hub of about 100,000 people in southwestern Sweden.

Information from the US Department of Energy

NREL is a national laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, operated by the Alliance for Sustainable Energy LLC.

Contract No. DE-AC36-08GO28308, Waste to Energy Evaluation: U.S. Virgin Islands; Jerry Davis, Scott Haase, and Adam Warren; 13 Table 4. MSW and Cost Data; State Number of WTE Plants Avg WTE Tip Fee ($/ton)

 Alabama                      1          $25.00

Connecticut                 7          $64.00

Florida                         12        $52.95

Iowa                            1           $64.00

Massachusetts            7          $69.00

Minnesota                   9          $55.00

New Hampshire          2          $69.00

New Jersey                  5          $85.00

New York                     10        $72.34

Washington                 3          $98.00

Wisconsin                    2          $51.00


BioCycle, The State Of Garbage in America, December 2008


A general finding of this evaluation is that WTE operations, if implemented appropriately, serve a beneficial role in an integrated solid waste management program for a community. The appropriateness of WTE for a community must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and should only be considered after waste reduction and responsible recycling programs are implemented.

 Greg Miller, St. Thomas

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  1. The Governor stands to be corrected his statement is wrong and because of these types of comments the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority (WAPA) has been refusing to negotiate to allow a private company to finance and build ,two Waste-to-Energy Plants in the Virgin Islands ( on St Thomas and St Croix) at no expense to its citizens.

    The US Environmental Protection Agency Region 2 office (EPA) Mr Stephen C Revere, Chief Permitting Section itted buy Caribbean W2E Conversion USVI Inc (W2E) at the request of the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority and they still refuse to negotiate a Power Purchase Agreement(PPA) that the company may start construction.

    On October 6th 2014 the Public Service Commission (PSC)approved Qualifying FacilityStatus (QF) for Caribbean W2E conversion to build two Waste-to-Energy power plants pending approval of a PPA with WAPA (PSC Docket Nod. 639 and 648 Order No. 62/2015).

    Please public officials leaders of our community you need to work on behalf of the people of the Virgin Islands and for there best interest and pursue these opportunities for the betterment of the majority and not just the few.

    W2E is prepared to finance the building of Waste-to-Energy plants on St Thomas and St. Croix and provide to WAPA at between $0.12 to $0.18 a kilowatt depending on what concessions are required.

    Please feel free to contact me for details.

    Cleve George, St. Thomas

  2. The Virgin Islands should do everything to promote longterm sustainable decision making. This is a real opportunity that will have impacts for the future of the islands. Every opportunity to address energy cost savings should be reviewed and established for the territory. WAPA is not viable for future economic development for the territory. It would be a shame not to consider new technologies to move the territory forward, it is time to shift gears. All approaches should be considered to move the islands forward, not the same old same old, including WAPA which is no longer a viable energy source nor is it realistic with the options available to the islands today. And finally, let’s not discuss the problem of the current waste management system. Enough is enough, make real lasting decisions for the future not business as usual, especially when it is not working, it will only be more expensive the longer the best available technology is not applied. Time to awaken to a new Virgin Islands that is prepared for disasters. Rebuild now, with the future in mind. You may only get one shot at this.

  3. Mapp’s has to go, out with the old tired, good old boy thinking and on with the new. Let’s move forward VI. New blood, new ideas, innovations, strategic planning. Let’s be mindful, the future is now. Do you want to continue rebuilding your power plant overtime there is a hurricane!!! Options people, think about what you want your kids to inherit, not what you are willing to put up with for the last 40 years. This breaks my heart that no one is coming forward with new thinking for the future of the VI. I support George Cleve and others are calling new ways of addressing WAPA. How long will we put up with the power is out, we are on rotation today or system 1 and 2 are out. Think people, it’s your opportunity to rebuild with some rationale and thought. Mapp has got to go now, he will cost the VI it’s future. This is sad. Stronger yes, but build back a better and stronger VI. Nuff said.

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