folc.ca's comment on HAZCO's answer to FAQ #18
Note: The background text in the following was copied from the Frequently-asked Questions page at HAZCO's website, Nov. 2, 2005. HAZCO's answers to "frequently asked questions" deserve further comments. Those comments are inserted where required in HAZCO's text and are shown on yellow background.
From HAZCO's FAQ web page (quoted verbatim):
FAQ #18. How much more rail and truck traffic can residents expect when your project is up and running?
We anticipate approximately one to two additional unit trains per week as well as approximately 40 trucks per day.
The design of the loading facilities for the unit trains virtually guaranties that massive amounts of dust will be produced while loading the cars. The cars will be pulled at a steady speed (about 1 km/ hour) under the loading chute, while a continuous stream of sulphur prills will pour into the cars that move non-stop by, under the chute. All of that will take place in the open air, with the wind blowing the generated dust into whatever direction the wind blows. It is quite likely that the fields adjacent to the proposed HAZCO facility will become overloaded with sulphur. Who will bear the cost of correcting the agricultural and environmental problems that will result from that?
The traffic by 40 sulphur trucks a day, 280 sulphur trucks a week, will damage the road network in Lamont County. It costs about $500,000 a mile to reconstruct a road such as that running past the proposed HAZCO sulphur storage and processing site south to Highway 45. That is a two million dollar expense for two miles of road every few years.
HAZCO's proposal includes no information on how far $60,000 to $65,000 annual tax revenue for the County (the Industrial Heartland Association gets about a third to forty percent of the $100,000 annual taxes levied on HAZCO) will stretch to pay for the damages caused to many miles of County roads. It would be a fair guess that the sulphur trucks will cause more damage to the road network of the County of Lamont than the taxes HAZCO would pay would provide for repairing.
- What will the costs of that traffic be to us in terms of injured and lost lives to County residents?
- What will the costs of that traffic be in terms of damages to our vehicles that we use to travel on our roads?
That is only the beginning! More upgraders will be built in this area. They all will produce sulphur as a waste product of their operations. All of that sulphur will be stored at the HAZCO site, and very likely very little of it will be shipped out from there. The questions should be,
- What is HAZCO's estimate of the time it takes to exhaust the sulphur storage capacity at its proposed site?
- How much more farmland does HAZCO anticipate it will require to expand its site to meet with the demand for sulphur storage? (See
world sulphur market trend information)
- How can the County's roads be made to cope with the anticipated volume and rate of growth sulphur truck traffic at a mere $60,000 or $65,000 in annual tax revenue collected from HAZCO per year?
- What amount of annual tax revenues needs to be collected from HAZCO by the County of Lamont to be able to cover the costs of the repairs of our infra-structure necessitated on account of the damages caused by traffic to and from the HAZCO site?
Update 2006 11 04: The spokes-person at the HAZCO information office stated that about 50 to 60 trucks per day are expected to deliver liquid sulphur to the site. Moreover, she painted with considerable emphasis and enthusiasm a picture of the future of the site in which a total of as many as ten facilities like the very first one envisioned by HAZCO will be operating at the site, providing employment for 300 county residents and bringing in as much as a million dollars a year in tax revenue.
Keep in mind that ten times the number of sulphur processing facilities will not only multiply the number of potential job positions by a factor ten, it will also bring ten times the volume of traffic, ten times the amount of environmental pollution, ten times the amount of risk to people and their properties, as well as ten times the costs of coping with the consequences of it all.
More detailed observations regarding the concerns that the HAZCO representative sparked with her projections are provided in the comments relating to
FAQ #6, and to
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Created Nov. 4, 2005