folc.ca's comment on HAZCO's answer to FAQ #7
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 #7. How many people will be required to build the facility and how many of those will be local?
It is anticipated that 36,000 person hours will be required to build the facility (approximately 40 full time employees). Once the facility is operational, the site will provide up to 20 full time positions. It is Hazco’s intent to hire as many local people as possible.
How many of those people will be from Lamont County? The pipeline and pipeline-equipment for Shell's sulphur facility at Shantz were designed and manufactured in Germany. Just about none of the equipment required at the proposed HAZCO site is being manufactured in the County of Lamont, a minuscule of amount of it in Alberta, and very little of it in Canada. Most of it will come from overseas and from the US.
It is likely that at least some of the employees will not be hired from amongst the residents of Lamont County. Depending on specific circumstances and requirements, perhaps none will reside in Lamont County.
Given that the first such statement by HAZCO just a few months ago mentioned 8 to 12 full-time employees for its operation, it seems that HAZCO has no concrete idea of how many people will be working in the construction and operation of their waste-sulphur handling facility.
HAZCO's representative in the Lamont HAZCO information office stated November 4, 2005 that HAZCO's production will be as much as ten times the volume possible through the one facility covered in its present application and will employ as many as 300 people. The HAZCO representative sees that as a very great attraction, to have sulphur-handling processes provide a major source of employment in Lamont County. Were HAZCO's impractical and unrealistic claim to become reality, the consequences would be horrendous.
HAZCO mentioned that presently 6,000 tonnes of sulphur are being shipped per week from Vancouver into the world market for sulphur, just as much as the HAZCO information office official stated HAZCO's production would add on top of that. Ten times the alleged initial production volume by HAZCO would require that the already saturated world market for sulphur would have to accommodate the injection of many times more than 6,000 tonnes of sulphur per week. That is just not possible. The only alternative for HAZCO and other sulphur handlers following HAZCO's example would be to store
sulphur in blocks, indefinitely!
HAZCO is a waste-management organization whose experience is in landfill construction and operation, therefore its initial intentions, in the Counties of Thorhild and Sturgeon, and even in Lamont County, to bury ten million tonnes of sulphur (in Lamont County potentially several times more than that) in landfill pits. (See information on sulphur blocks.)
However, even if a market sufficient to absorb Alberta's excess of sulphur could be found, keep in mind that ten times the number of sulphur processing facilities would not only multiply the number of potential job positions by a factor ten, it would 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. If the County of Lamont can't raise enough tax revenue to pay for the deterioration and decline of the County on account of sulphur storage and handling within its boundaries, how can the County do that if the losses we will experience on account of sulphur piles will increase ten-fold?
What will the people commuting to the sulphur facilities in the County add to the traffic load our road network will need to carry? After all, those sulphur-process workers are not likely to buy homes next-door to sulphur piles, so that they can walk to work. Mind you, some relief with the increased volume of traffic will come through an accelerating exodus of current residents that want to vacate the County. They won't wish to live amongst sulphur piles either, of which HAZCO's would only be the first of many more to come. (E. g.: the recent proposal to build another sulphur facility near Riley, to which the HAZCO representative happily refers, while remarking, "HAZCO is no longer the only organization wishing to locate such a facility in this area.")
It is not likely that a firm estimate of the number of employees required by HAZCO will be forthcoming any time soon, as the plans published by HAZCO constantly change. Even the graphical displays in the HAZCO information office in Lamont show several versions of the design for the site and its details, with the version that HAZCO's recent application-filing covers not being on display at all. Not only that, but it appears that that information cannot be made available to the residents of the County of Lamont. According to the HAZCO official, "That would be too expensive."
During our visit to the HAZCO information office my neighbour and I commented on some of the features depicted in the various displays. The HAZCO representative responded time and again with statements like, "Oh, that is not part of the design any longer," or "Oh, that is not covered by our application."
Any reasonable individual would expect that everything that is on display in an information office launched for the expressive purpose to provide information about the ultimate size and condition of a new sulphur facility is an indication of what will be, and that therefore a first application that so enormously differs from what is on display is nothing more than a small taste of far bigger and far more threatening things to come.
So, all we have to go by are constantly-changing verbal assurances and the impression that HAZCO tells us only a small and ever-varying fraction of what we need to know. The rest is a big secret from which here and there glimpses of the making of an enormous calamity peek through.
(By the way, HAZCO's answer to FAQ #7 is repeated exactly in its answer to FAQ #30.)
- It is incomprehensible why the HAZCO representative didn't know any better, or why she should have made her response on the fly. Nevertheless, although her demonstrated lack of knowledge is true to HAZCO style, just the same, her response is contrary to the fact. HAZCO's application is available at HAZCO's website. It is not a stack of paper a foot high, as the HAZCO rep. indicated, but is is only 18 pages long or 158 pages with all of the documents attached to the submission. The full document with all of its attachments is no more than ⅜" thick if printed single-sided or half that if printed double-sided. It is truly odd that the HAZCO representative should not have know the address at which the application can be accessed.
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Created Nov 4, 2005
2005 11 09 (corrected information on HAZCO initial estimate of the number of full-time employees, and edited the wording of some of the paragraphs, in the comment on HAZCO's answer to FAQ #7)
2005 11 20 (added link to information of environmental impact of sulphur blocks)