The Ada County commissioners' office has been receiving 50 to 70 calls a day since the Idaho Conservation League began prompting citizens to complain about the controversial plant.
The calls began Sept. 17, when ICL Program Director Justin Hayes began the automated calls.
The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality is reviewing an air quality permit application, but Hayes says in his phone call that the plan will pollute the Treasure Valley. Meridian Mayor Tammy de Weerd is among those opposing the plant, in which the county has already invested $2 million.
In his call, Hayes notes the plant would burn 408 tons of garbage and tires daily, a plan approved by Commissioners Rick Yzaguirre and Sharon Ullman and opposed by Commissioner Dave Case, all Republicans.
"Every day this will result in 30 tons of ash that the county has on its hands forever," Hayes says. "The process will also release harmful pollutants into the air in our valley, which is already plagued with inversions and bad air days."
Adds Hayes, "The commission needs to hear from people like you, people who care about our community....tell the commission that you don't want to see a dirty energy plant in our community."
For phone subscribers who pick up the phone, they have the option of pressing "1" and being directly connected to the commissioners' office. For those whose answering machines pick up, Hayes leaves the number, 287-7000.
Hayes said ICL is using the grass-roots tactic because Yzaguirre and Ullman have steadfastly declined requests to hold a public hearing, saying it is not required by law.
"We are reaching out to Ada County residents on the Dynamis issue because Commissioners Ullman and Yzaquirre are refusing to," Hayes said. "The Dyanimis proposal to burn hundreds of tons of trash and up to 12,000 (pounds of) tires per day at the Ada County landfill is a big deal and our community has a right to have its concerns heard by the Commissioners. So, if Ullman and Yzaquirre refuse to have a public meeting so that Ada County residents can express their concerns, we are urging residents to callthe Commissioners directly and tell them that Dynamis is a bad idea and building it in Ada County will harm our air quality."
I asked Yzaguirre and Ullman for comment this afternoon, but was told they are in a meeting. If they get back to me, I'll let you know what they say.
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