It may take a couple of days to gather all the information to flesh out what happened in today’s BOC meeting but Commissioner Parry was on full offense when it came to the subject of the solid waste department and referred to enforcing an agreement as “using a sledgehammer” on poor ole Waste Connections. The independent engineer, Brady Consulting, released its assessment of the Beaver Hill facility and harshly criticized an earlier study prepared by URS. From the Brady Report on Beaver Hill Incinerator
Prior to my visit to this facility, I reviewed a report dated March, 2010 titled “Coos County Solid Waste
Consulting” prepared by URS Corporation, ACS Incorporated and Bell & Associates in which Terrill Chang of URS Corporation included an Inspection Report dated December 21, 2009. Based on my personal findings, that report contains numerous very serious mistakes which misled me into expecting a much different incinerator facility than that which I found. The “Summary” in that report opens with a paragraph which reads “Overall, the incinerator and APC system are in good condition. Structurally the incinerators are sound, but all are in need of some steelwork and patching. The refractory is in fair to-good condition with only a few spots that will need to be repaired in the near future. The air-to-air heat exchangers and the baghouse, along with their ancillary equipment, looked to be in very good shape and need little more than the regular maintenance they are getting now.” Based on my inspection, none of those statements are true nor could they have been true at the time. A proper inspection was not conducted in December of 2009. Even the photographs in that report support my conclusion that whoever conducted this earlier inspection had little or no experience with incineration systems, air pollution control systems or refractory. Had there been a proper internal inspection of the component parts, the report would have been much different. My report will present a very different picture of the actual condition of this entire facility, then and now.
Components of the URS report have been criticized before, namely its calculations on the life of the ash trench and as you can see the above assessment of URS is quite damning. Terrill Chang at URS has not responded to my request for a comment. The Brady report says, “Under no conditions should this plant be placed back in operation.” What happened to the site since it was shutdown a couple of weeks ago and staff laid off and what has happened to the facility in the last two years since the URS report? Why was Cheryl Westgaard at Beaver Hill getting quotes for trash hauling as far back as last December? Who is the public supposed to believe, URS or Brady? There is no question this board prefers to accept the latter and today Parry claimed that county counsel was exploring the possibility of demanding a refund for the $37K URS study. When pressed about enforcing an agreement with Waste Connections for $700K to $1 million the board was silent with the exception of Parry offering excuses about not using sledgehammers and speaking to engineers and, oh yeah, making sure we have a legal position to enforce the agreement? The video will be very revealing and Parry’s animosity toward Sanne shines through again but Sanne handled it with aplomb.
Much more to come when I hear back from URS and other sources and not discussed today was why the site has stopped all metal reclamation which last year earned $250K in just three months of cumulative operation.