By Kent Gray
Triplicate staff writer
Proponents of a trash-to-power incinerator said yesterday they have not given up on Del Norte County, and the feasibility study now being compiled should be completed in about two weeks.
Naanovo President and CEO Thomas Morrow said although company representatives have not physically returned to the area, as reported by Crescent City City Councilman Herb Kolodner on Monday, they do have people in the community conducting research.
"No, we haven't lost any interest. We have just as much interest as we ever had," Morrow said. "We have been advised to be low profile until we get all our information together."
Naanovo was invited last year to research the feasibility of constructing and operating a waste-to-energy plant in Del Norte County. The concept is to convert household trash into electricity.
Morrow said the low profile was deemed necessary because his company had divulged too much information in the past and that it was used to interfere with its study.
"We don't want to stir up the hornet's nest again," Morrow said. "Kevin (Hendrick, Del Norte's solid waste authority manager) and some others have different ideas and they don't feel this is the right project" for the community.
Hendrick said yesterday he was not actively involved in anything having to do with Naanovo's research.
"When they provided their presentation to the board I work for, there wasn't a vote but a general concurrence to cooperate with Naanovo, and Naanovo was asked to answer any and all questions posed by staff," Hendrick said. "That's the limit of the direction I have on this subject, and they haven't contacted me since. So I can say I have cooperated fully."
Earlier this week, Kolodner seemed to imply that Naanovo was no longer interested in a trash burning plant here. Now Kolodner admits he was trying to keep the project low profile by not releasing too much information.
Yesterday, he said although Naanovo is seeking some basic requirements to operate one of its plants here, they are still in the running.
"They haven't come back, and that is still true," Kolodner said of the Naanovo representatives. "They have gotten back to me in written form and by telephone. But we have two companies now. Both companies are interested and are doing a conceptual study for their specific needs."
Kolodner has held private workshops for the concept going back to last year. When asked why the participants have never been named, Kolodner said it was to protect them.
"I'd rather not give out names because the people involved would get bombarded," Kolodner said. "I can say there have been two from the City Council, two from the Board of Supervisors, representatives from the rancheria, two from the Economic Council, and various individuals who have identified themselves as environmentalists."
When asked if Hendrick has ever been involved in the workshops, Kolodner said he was.
"I've invited Kevin to to our workshop meetings. Nothing has been hidden from him," said Kolodner. "We're not doing this in a vacuum, and the information is available to everybody."
One piece of information that has been kept close to the vest is where the needed trash would come from to fuel the proposed waste-to-energy plant.
Naanovo said it needs 180 tons of trash per day. According to Kolodner, Del Norte would provide about 60 to 70 tons per day, and Curry County could provide another 70 tons. That leaves at least 40 tons of trash missing.
"When we get that nailed down we'll go to these companies and tell them what we have," Kolodner said. "It doesn't serve any purpose to prematurely open up your book and let people see everything. That information is of minimal value because it could change tomorrow and probably will change tomorrow."