Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Read My Lips, No Hyperion

January 7th, 2009

For those of you that are not familiar with how the internet works, when you print a statement using all CAPITALS, it means you are shouting. There is going to be a lot of shouting in this article. I absolutely cannot understand what the reasoning is behind the DENR comments to our concerns. What they reply to our questions and statements is absolutely unconscionable.
The DENR starts out by stating there were over 3000 letters commenting on the Hyperion application and that over 2800 showed overwhelming support for the Hyperion project. WAIT A MINUTE! ! ! ! I thought the comments to the DENR were supposed to be directed to them about why the application should be granted, and if not why not. WHEN DID THIS TURN INTO A DAMNED POPULARITY CONTEST? I read every response on the website and I’m here to tell you, form letters stating that Hyperion is a good thing for Union County is not a comment that is critical or supportive of the content of Hyperion’s application. I’m going to be shouting from the rooftops if this “so called” response from DENR is allowed to determine whether or not Hyperion’s application is approved. I want to throw up. I mean I want to THROW UP!
If it were to have been a popularity contest, we would have been out enmass collecting signatures on form letters. That wasn’t the case. Folks that are/were against the refineries application submitted valid concerns and questions about the AIR QUALITY APPLICATION. Almost every letter that had comments on the application were specific in nature and had a valid point to which DENR should have been responsive to. But with Hyperion trying to do an end around and flood the office with “form” letters it looks like DENR took the easy way out and grouped the responses and sent the responses back in a form document. I guess they consider sending a “form” response to each individual a valid response. THAT’S A LOAD OF CRAP!
This opposition to the refinery is not like voting for “Miss Popularity 2008”, it is an opposition that is disrupting to our lives. WHAT PART OF THIS DON’T THEY UNDERSTAND? The EPA sent DENR a 23 page response to Hyperion’s application that was very critical of what was in the application and DENR responded to practically every question “DENR does not recommend any changes to the draft PSD air quality permit as a result of this comment.”
Now, let me see if I got this straight. E-P-A- Environmental Protection Agency - - ENVIRONMENTAL means the land, water, air combined to create the world we live in. PROTECTION – to me means save against intrusion, guard against wrongdoing, hold in abeyance, stop and defend. AGENCY – department or body to enforce rules and regulations. Put this all together and we have a department that is to defend us against someone who wants to do harm to the air, land and water that we breathe and live in. THAT MY FRIENDS, IS A NO BRAINER. The EPA tells the state that the application is faulty. It violates standards or does not meet standards and what does DENR have to say? DENR does not recommend any changes. BARF!
Let me give you what I think is the kicker to this whole response by DENR. It pertains to an Environmental Impact Study. Several people including Jenner & Block submitted statements stating that it is imperative that Hyperion pay for and submit an EIS before granting the permit. Now logic should tell you that regardless of what the law says an application for a project of this magnitude would dictate that an EIS be done, if for no other reason that this will be the largest risk that has ever been done in the state of South Dakota and we should be absolutely sure it is done correctly. NOT DENR! Here is their response to the question on page 106.
SDCL 34A-9 establishes authority for a state agency, in its discretion, to require the preparation of an environmental impact statement concerning, among others, the agency’s issuance of permits. SDCL 34A-9-3(5) specifically exempts from this statute, actions of an environmentally protective regulatory nature. Air quality permits are “actions of an environmentally protective regulatory nature” and are not an agency action for which an agency may require the preparation of an environmental impact statement. WHAT? WHAT DID THEY SAY? DENR goes on – DENR therefore cannot assess the fee associated with preparation of an environmental impact statement as required by SDCL 34A-9-4, Legal assessment of the cost of an environmental impact statement is dependant upon the existence of an agency “action.” So what they are saying is that we don’t know how much to charge, so we won’t charge them at all. In the next paragraph is where the agency really shows its stuff.
The commenters assert that the preparation of an environmental impact statement would provide information that is not required to be provided in the air quality permit application, such as impacts of the proposed facility on noise, odors, road traffic, and regional infrastructure. However, these issues lie outside DENR’s jurisdiction and authority to consider in an air quality permit application proceeding. The specific issues which DENR is authorized to consider in an air quality permit application proceeding are those set forth in the air quality statutes and regulations. As a result, consideration of these issues in the air quality permit application proceeding would exceed DENR’s authority. Therefore, the information concerning these issues provided by any environmental impact statement would not be relevant to the pending air quality permit application. NOW THAT FOLKS IS A BIG LOAD OF CRAP. EXCUSE MY FRENCH, BUT THIS IS BULL. NOT ONLY THAT, IT IS AN INSULT TO THE PEOPLE OF UNION COUNTY. IT IS AN AFFRONT TO OUR DIGNITY AS CITIZENS OF THIS COUNTY; PERIOD.


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