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Send YOUR Public Comments to the Ohio EPA
regarding Facility ID: 0250110024
Permit Number: P0132799

YOUR PUBLIC COMMENTS ARE CRITICAL
TO STOP SOBE Thermal Energy!

They must be received by Sept. 10, 2023.

1) You can email your comments & questions DIRECTLY
to Erik Bewley of the Ohio EPA: DAPCNE.comments@epa.ohio.gov [Erik Bewley]
or use the form to send instantly at:
  Comment to OEPA (goes to same email address of Ohio Environmental Protection Agency)


2) Here are 3 lists of ideas for comments
(or scroll way down).

3) Send comments & questions via postcards and letters to: (must be received by EPA by Sept. 10, 2023.)

Ohio EPA

Andrew Hall

Permit Review/Development Section

Ohio EPA, DAPC

50 West Town Street Suite 700

PO Box 1049

Columbus, Ohio 43216-1049
 

and
 

Ohio EPA DAPC, Northeast District Office

2110 East Aurora Rd.

Twinsburg, OH 44087 

 

IMP! include these ID #'s in your Comments:

RE: Facility ID: 0250110024

Permit Number: P0132799
 

Express your concerns about SOBE Thermal Energy and the potential dangers of this UNTESTED and UNPROVEN tire pyrolysis process that they are trying to bring into our neighborhoods! Write the Ohio EPA: "Do NOT issue permit to SOBE!"

A full copy of the draft EPA Permit is available here to review.
A copy of the slides of the process  given at the August 10, 2023 public meeting here.

The Ohio EPA is required to respond to all public comments submitted as part of the permitting process.
*

* make sure your OEPA Comments apply specifically to this SOBE situation (Facility ID: 0250110024 -Permit Number: P0132799) because OEPA will make an official response to every single comment and as to why it applies (or if it doesn't apply). We cannot stress enough that a tremendous number of Comments are needed in order to make a difference in this effort to get the permit denied!

 

DAPCNE.comments@epa.ohio.gov [Erik Bewley]

 

Anne Vogel, Director of Ohio EPA, 614-644-2782, supora.hunter@epa.ohio.gov

“DO NOT permit pyrolysis plants in Ohio, they are too dangerous and polluting”


Make sure to tell all of your family, friends and neighbors to submit their concerns via email or mail (must be received by Sept 10, 2023!)
 

 

ALSO! Make public comment to the Public Utilities Commission

Please submit comment on the fact that SOBE Thermal Energy falsely claimed to be only a heating plant when they applied for permits with the Public Utilities Commission. (Therefore everything following would seem to be fraudulent such as permit applications, etc.)
RE: CaseNo=21-0028

How to make  a public comment with PUCO

It's easy to make a public comment to the Public Utilities Commission (PUCO) against the dangerous, toxic proposal for SOBE Energy. PUCO's mission is to assure all residential and business consumers access to adequate, safe and reliable utility services at fair prices, while facilitating an environment that provides competitive choices. That means PUCO is supposed to fight for us against dangerous corporations like SOBE Energy - so let's make them do it.
 

There is a simple, one page form on PUCO's website where the public can make complaints. [It appears this form may have problems with Firefox - if you encounter problems submitting the CAPTCHA, try another browser.]

Here is the link to the PUCO complaint form.

https://puco.ohio.gov/help-center/file-a-complaint?CaseNo=21-0028

 

One can also email:

Public Utilities Commission of Ohio

Jenifer French, Chairperson, PUCO@PUCO.ohio.gov

Tell Ms. French “to rescind Public Utility designation for this INCINERATOR!!”

Ideas for Comments as to why the permit
should be denied

+Why are scrap tires classified as non-hazardous, since when they are pyrolyzed – dioxins and furans are created and these cancer-causing chemicals can be released into the air?

+Since the process of pyrolysis is "proprietary," which means the info on the source of energy to create the intense heat to melt the tires is not in the permit. This point has implications for the radioactive air pollution.


+What are the potential radiological contents of the stack gases and has anyone done studies on this? How will this be monitored, tested and regulated by the EPA?

+ WHY does the EPA get to decide how much toxic pollution we and our kids will be poisoned with? The community should be the decision makers on an issue this important. 

 

+Why doesn’t our community get to vote on the pollution we will be exposed to or not exposed to? The community should be the decision makers on an issue this important. 


+Why do others outside your community get to decide if the benefits outweigh the risks? The community should be the decision makers on an issue this important. 

+What air monitoring equipment will the OH EPA place in Youngstown that are able to test our air for dangerous releases of toxic chemicals like sulfur oxides, dioxins and furans?
NOTE: Youngstown no longer has an Air Pollution Division (since 2017). OHEPA monitors our air for PM2.5 at one location in Youngstown.

+Do industrial businesses self-report the amount of hazardous air pollutants to the OH EPA and how does the OH EPA verify the data? Is this done monthly, quarterly, yearly?


+How can Youngstown citizens petition the OH EPA to revise the air permit for SOBE to regulate its pyrolysis operation as incineration under Rule 129 of the Clean Air Act?

+Does the OH EPA permit and regulate the collection, storage, removal and transport of byproducts and waste to a processing facility or landfill?
If yes, is there a separate permit that the public should know about?
If not which agency or agencies oversees this?

+Vallourec, 2 miles from this proposed project has a Title 5 air emissions permit for 900 tons of emissions per year. From the DRAFT permit,  How was the less than 1 ton/yr of pollution determined for the SOBE’s proposed pyrolysis plant?

+Vallourec is 2 miles from this proposed project and has a Title 5 air emissions permit for 900 tons of emissions per year.
Does the OH EPA ever deny an air permit for a “minor source of pollution” when it is proposed to be located near an existing major source of pollution?

+We live in a valley and experience occasional inversion layer weather phenomena (such as the recent Canadian wildfire smoke being trapped), Is this factor taken into account when issuing air permits?

Ideas for Comment 1

 Some Questions to Ask the OHIO EPA About SOBE DRAFT Air Pollution Permit Number: P0132799

From Pg 1. of the DRAFT permit, item #3: “The facility is considered a true minor source of air emissions…”

What is a true minor source of air emissions?

How was this classification of this facility determined?
 

From Pg 1. of the DRAFT permit, item #3: “Mahoning County is in attainment for all criteria pollutants.” What are these criteria pollutants?

What amount of these criteria pollutants constitute attainment?

How often does OH EPA test for these criteria pollutants?
 

From Pg 1. of the DRAFT permit, item #4: “The source PTE (potential to emit) of Hazardous Air Pollutants is less than one ton per year; therefore air toxics modeling was not necessary for this project.”

How was this less than one ton a year of pollution determined? Does the OH EPA take cumulative pollution from nearby plants into consideration?
 

From Pg 1.  of the DRAFT permit, item #4: “The NESHAP (National Emission Standard for Hazard­ous Air Pollutants) for Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional Boilers Area Sources (40 CFR Part 63, Subpart JJJJJJ) is an applicable requirement.  Ohio EPA is not accepting delegation authority to implement and enforce 40 CFR Part 63, Subpart JJJJJJ, therefore US EPA is retaining the authority to implement and enforce 40 CFR Part 63, Subpart JJJJJJ.”
How will the US EPA enforce these requirements?

 

Thermolyzer is a brand name for SOBE’s Pyrolysis Unit that will melt chopped-up tires to make synthetic gas:

From Pg 1. of the DRAFT permit, item #5: “P001 (Thermolyzer) will not be processing material that is classified as solid waste per USEPA’s CFR 40 Part 241.” LOOK: Answer: (From CFR 40 Part 241) § 241.4 Non-Waste Determinations for Specific Non-Hazardous Secondary Materials When Used as a Fuel.

(a) The following non-hazardous secondary materials are not solid wastes when used as a fuel in a combustion unit:

(1) Scrap tires that are not discarded and are managed under the oversight of established

tire collection programs, including tires removed from vehicles and off-specification tires.

Why are scrap tires classified as non-hazardous, since WHEN THEY ARE PYRO­LYZED, DIOXINS AND FURANS are created and these cancer-causing chemicals can be released into our air?

What air monitors will OH EPA place in Youngstown that are able to test our air for dangerous releases of toxic chemicals like sulfur oxides, dioxins and furans?
 

NOTE: Youngstown City Health Dept. no longer has an Air Pollution Division (since 2017.) OH EPA monitors our air for PM 2.5 at one location in Youngstown.
 

Can the OH EPA deny an air permit for a “minor source of pollution” when it is pro­posed to be located near an existing major source of pollution?

NOTE: Vallourec, a Major Source of Pollution, (Title V permit allows 900 tons per year into the air) is within 1/4 mile of SOBE site!

Does the OH EPA estimate the cumulative air pollution that would result from hav­ing more that one industry emitting pollutants in a community?
 

When will OH EPA incorporate climate warming modeling and get stricter air emis­sions rules instituted for Ohio?

 Some Questions to Ask the OHIO EPA About SOBE RE: Permit Number: P0132799 REGARDING PYROLYSIS OF TIRES

P001 (the “thermolyzer”) will not be processing material that is classified as sol­id waste per US EPA’s Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 40 CFR Part 241. The TDC to be used to produce syngas will be from scrap tires processed at another facility. The company has provided Ohio EPA written confirmation that the facil­ity will not accept solid waste per 40 CFR Part 241. Therefore the pyrolysis unit (P001) is not considered a solid waste incineration unit and is not subject to Sec­tion 129 regulations, and the recent updates to Section 129 regarding pyrolysis units do not apply. 

What fossil-fuel derived synthetic compounds are used to produce tires?
 

Why would tires not be classified as toxic hazardous waste by OH EPA when the process of pyrolyzing them creates cancer-causing air emissions including dioxins

and furans?
 

When is the US EPA revising air emissions requirements for pyrolysis businesses like this one to make sure they are regulated under Rule 129 of the Clean Air Act as

incineration?
 

What type of Continuous Emissions Monitoring System does the OH EPA require for businesses who pyrolyze tires?
 

Youngstown is in a valley, and often there is an inversion layer that keeps air pollut­tion at ground level, so has the OH EPA taken this into consideration in regulating

air emissions?
 

Ohio EPA has also placed a term and condition in the permit prohibiting any sol­id waste from being fed to the pyrolysis unit. SOBE Thermal Energy System LLC will follow 40 CFR Part 241 requirements to ensure that TDC suppliers meet the established legitimacy criteria in 40 CFR Part 241 to ensure the TDC is not a solid waste.

Does OH EPA let businesses self-report regarding hazardous pollutants?
 

Based on analysis of the syngas, P001 (the “thermolyzer”) is not expected to have a potential to emit (PTE) Hazardous AirPollutants (HAPs) and air toxics in quan­tities greater than one ton per year.
 

Why does OH EPA consider air toxics that are under one ton per year not required to be monitored and regulated?
How can Youngstown citizens petition the OH EPA to revise the air premit for SOBE to regulate its pyrolysis operation as incineration under Rule 129 of the Clean Air Act?

Some Questions to Ask the Ohio EPA About SOBE Permit Number: P0132799
RE: Youngstown Environmental Justice Concerns

DOWNLOAD PDF file
of these questions

from Permit Strategy write-Up, #6. EJ:

Ohio EPA has taken steps to address Environmental Justice (EJ) Concerns
in the area where the proposed project is located. Ohio EPA performed an
EJ analysis using the EJ screening tool to determine the main
demographic and environ­mental indicators that classify this as an EJ area. Ohio EPA
will be conducting a public hearing as part of the EJ plan, and Ohio EPA’s Public Interest Center (PIC) has developed a plan of steps to address EJ concerns during the permitting pro­cess and after the permitting process.

What steps has the Ohio EPA taken to address EJ Concerns in the area?
 

Where is the OHEPA EJ analysis data for this area?
 

When and Where will the EJ public hearing be held?
 

Shouldn’t the EJ plan be revealed and publicly discussed BEFORE the final permit

is issued?

Youngstown, OH EJ data: People of color: 59% of total White population: 43% Black population: 48% People who rent their homes: 71% of totalDesignated an EPA "disadvantaged community": YESAir non-attainment: YES The draft permit states that the County is in attainment Health Indicators: Low life expectancy - 27% of total; or 96th percentile in the US; Heart disease - 93rd percentile in the US; Asthma - 97th percentile in the US- Youngstown was #7 in the top 100 cities for asthma in 2018, and Persons with disabilities - 96th percentile in the US In the Mahoning Valley, we have the highest rates of black infant mortality in Ohio and one of the highest in the nation.

Where is the Ohio EPA’s Public Interest Center (PIC) plan of steps to address EJ concerns during the permitting process and after the permitting process?
 

Pg 2. #7: “The permit terms include adequate monitoring, recordkeeping, report­ing, and sampling and testing requirements to demonstrate this emerging tech­nology’s compliance with the Clean Air Act, and is protective of human health and the environment.”

What are these specific requirements and how can Youngstown residents be kept up-to-date on SOBE’s compliance with these requirements?
 

How does the OHEPA enforce compliance from the company?
 

Are there measures the OHEPA takes to check the data that is self-reported by the company?
 

Does the OHEPA schedule visits to the company to make sure they comply with the Clean Air Act?
 

SOBE site is less than 1/4 mile from a steel mill, Vallourec (a Title V polluter), a concrete plant, and metal recycling business.
As per the EJ “goal of reducing combined risks to human health or the environment from multiple agents or stressors,” what regulatory enforcement(s) will OHEPA implement to address  EJ
concerns specific to multiple sources of air emissions?
 

We are in a valley, prone to atmospheric inversion which concentrates toxic air emissions from the ground to the bottom of the inversion layer.

How will the OH EPA increase air monitoring for cancer-causing chemicals since inversion will subject our community to toxic exposure?

Read transcript of PUBLIC COMMENTS at  OHIO ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY PUBLIC HEARING Aug 10, 2023 in Youngstown

Re: Draft Air Permit to Install and Operate SOBE Thermal Energy Systems, LLC

In attendance: Lisa Cochran, Ohio EPA Public Information Officer

Erik Bewley, Ohio EPA NEDO-DAPC

Robert Hodanbosi, Ohio EPA

Tim Fisher, Ohio EPA
https://bit.ly/OEPAhearingAug10reSOBE

RE: Facility ID: 0250110024

Permit Number: P0132799

Sample Comments

ideas for comment OEPA permit SOBE of Youngstown Ohio
SOBE tire pyrolysis Youngstown Ohio ask Ohio EPA deny permit
ideas for comment OEPA permit SOBE of Youngstown Ohio

* "While we can only consider comments within the scope of our environmental authority, the public comment process can result in changes to final permit terms and conditions to address specific concerns."                  - from May 12, 2023 letter from Anne Vogel, Director of Ohio EPA Read here
"All interested persons are entitled to submit comments concerning the draft permit. All comments received as part of the official record will be considered by the director of Ohio EPA.
"To be included in this official record, written comments must be received by Ohio EPA by the close of business September 10. All comments submitted by September 10 receive the same consideration.
Ohio EPA will respond to all the comments received during the entire comment period in a document known as Response to Comments.
"Once a final decision is made by the Director, the final decision and the Response to Comments document will be made available to anyone who requests a copy."


 

Send YOUR Public Comments to the Ohio EPA regarding Facility ID: 0250110024 Permit Number: P0132799 YOUR PUBLIC COMMENTS ARE CRITICAL TO STOP SOBE Thermal Energy!  They must be received by Sept. 10, 2023.
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