L-R): Edison Alleyne (Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment), Margot Harvey (Chairman, Sanitation Service Authority), Dr Denis Lowe (Minister of Environment), Clare Cowan (CEO of Cahill Energy), Christopher Sinckler (Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs), Denis Kellman (Minister of Housing, Lands and Rural Development), Senator Darcy Boyce (Minister of Energy in the Office of the Prime Minister)

Clare Cowan Alert – Victory for Citizen Advocacy

Clare Cowan, CEO of Cahill Energy

Clare Cowan, CEO of Cahill Energy

BU was alerted last week that the embattled CEO of Cahill Energy Clare Cowan was finally able to offload her plush apartment in Canada albeit below the original asking price. It means her creditors will likely have to take a haircut to cover off outstandings. While Cowan’s personal finances should not be the concern of Barbadians the fact that she leads a company gifted a contract by the Barbados government to foist a USD350 plasma gasification plant on Barbadians makes it our business. It supports the point that Cahill Energy – like 3S – was created by the government of the day so that a few may benefit at the expense of gullible taxpayers. Although BU is reasonably confident the Cahill deal is dead in its original form, we must remain vigilant by continuing to hold the political class to account.

Last week another victory was scored for citizens who champion for greater transparency by government when awarding contracts of the Cahill variety.

Victory for Clean Air: Maryland Decides Against Nation’s Largest Trash Incinerator

Maryland Department of the Environment Finds that Permit has Expired for Construction of Energy Answers Incinerator in South Baltimore

Baltimore, Md., March 17, 2016 – Clean air advocates and residents of Baltimore today praised a decision by Maryland nullifying approval to build what would be the largest trash burning incinerator in the U.S.

The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) found today that the New York-based developers of the Energy Answers waste-to-energy plant, proposed for Fairfield, allowed the project’s permit to expire when they stopped construction on October 31, 2013.

“This is a great decision for clean air and for environmental justice,” said Leah Kelly, Attorney with the Environmental Integrity Project.  “This plant would have been a large source of toxic air pollution in an area that already has a high air pollution burden.   MDE is charged with enforcing the letter of the law, and it is had done so with this decision.”

For a copy of the MDE decision letter, click here.

Many residents of the Curtis Bay, Brooklyn, and Brooklyn Park neighborhoods closest to the incinerator site – including a student-led organization called Free Your Voice – have been fighting the proposed 4,000-ton-per-day trash burning incinerator because of the air pollution that it would add to a neighborhood already suffering from toxic air emissions.

Destiny Watford, a local resident who has been leading the campaign against the incinerator, said:  “Today marks a crucial point in the communities of Brooklyn, Curtis Bay and Brooklyn Park. Community members have been working to bring truly green community driven positive alternatives like solar, recycling, and composting that provide good jobs for residents, and don’t put our lives at risk. The incinerator was holding us back from that positive vision. “

Charles Graham, a senior at Benjamin Franklin High School who has been fighting the project, said: “It’s awesome that MDE, after all of the pressure we’ve been building, is finally taking a step in the right direction. I’m just happy that it’s finally happening and see it as an opportunity for city and state officials to help support working towards the community’s vision for positive fair development alternatives to the incinerator.”

Rodette Jones, a longtime Curtis Bay resident and manager of the Filbert Street Garden, said: “This is awesome. Curtis Bay residents fought and we won and now our vision is finally coming into focus. Now we can roll up our sleeves and get to work on our plans for community driven alternatives for solar and recycling. The people stood up to a threat to our health and environment and this is a big victory. “

On February 10, the Environmental Integrity Project filed a notice of intent to sue Energy Answers on behalf of local residents and advocates over the status of the permit.  Under the federal Clean Air Act, approval to build a major source of air pollution, like the Energy Answers incinerator, expires if a company halts construction for a period of eighteen months or more.  This law prevents companies from avoiding newer air pollution requirements that may have been passed since a permit was issued.

Instead of an incinerator, the community has been pushing for more positive development alternatives that would create truly green jobs without putting residents’ health at risk. Possibilities include a solar energy farm, and recycling and composting facilities.

Watford,  the local campaign leader, said: “Since August, doctors, environmentalists,  and community members that wanted to see the incinerator project come to an end, have been reaching out to MDE, stating why the incinerator project is not only a failure, but is also fundamentally wrong. We are incredibly proud of the MDE for making the right decision helping us move forward towards a future filled with truly green developments. Now, more than ever, is the time for our public officials to stand with residents as we work to make our positive vision a reality.”

On December 15, 2015, more than 100 protesters gathered at MDE headquarters to demand that the state nullify the expired permit for Energy Answers. “Pull the permit!” the protesters chanted.

Seven of the protestors conducted a sit-in, refusing to leave the building until MDE issued a decision that the permit had expired.  In response, dozens of police officers arrived to arrest the seven protestors engaging in civil disobedience, including a local high school student and a physician who opposes the incinerator project.   The charges were later dropped.

After the protest at MDE on Dec. 15, the activists returned to the state agency to drop off petitions signed by almost 2,000 people. The petitions asked the state to find the incinerator permit invalid.

The Environmental Integrity Project is a 14-year-old nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to holding polluters and governments accountable and to protecting public health.

The United Workers is a Baltimore- based human rights organization, founded in 2002 by homeless day laborers, that is dedicated to building a movement to end poverty and to securing economic human rights through fair development.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Tom Pelton, Environmental Integrity Project (443) 510-2574 or tpelton@environmentalintegrity.org

Greg Sawtell, United Workers (513) 638-7107 or greggalen@gmail.com

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29 Comments on “Clare Cowan Alert – Victory for Citizen Advocacy”

  1. Well Well & Consequences March 21, 2016 at 6:17 AM #

    Politicians have to be watched very closely and not given any wiggle room to successfully implement scams. The people have to make their voices loudly heard and DEMAND accountability and answers about everything, being docile and being fooled that your are being “conservative”, a most stupid description of people….could one day see the populace being very dead, from either pollution, lack of water, lack of food or worse, just because you want to believe in weak, greedy politicians, who are only interested in putting millions of tax payers dollars in their pockets.

    Like

  2. Kammie Holder March 21, 2016 at 6:51 AM #

    \
    Dr. Connett states:
    “PS I should stress that it is more important to beat incinerators politically rather than scientifically. In other words keep the decision in the democratic process before it shifts to the bureaucratic process. That latter approach is very, very difficult unless communities have access to pro bono experts”.

    Agreed! But, sometimes….the politicians might want to see what’s in the files of the “regulators” though…
    Amazing revelations of incompetence, failed technology – institutional memory loss…. which ultimately leads to the “risk” evaluations not reported to the general public. The general public CAN learn about the compromises… I learned…and I don’t have a PhD.

    Dr. Connett will remember when a community woman in Columbus Ohio discovered that the city Trash Burning PowerPlant emission’s report revealed the plant was releasing 17,000ng of dioxin and the standard was 30ng! The EPA couldn’t believe it… what did they learn? EPA went nationwide to track down the hot sided ESP’s in trash burning power plants…… pollution control equipment was the problem… Politicians didn’t help this one…DR. PAUL CONNETT did.

    Ask the EPA to inform the community about the “risk” standards they’ve established. Here’s one, add all the regulated chemicals together that EPA says are safe to release from the incinerator….Are you safe? EPA doesn’t do that… each chemical has their own standard….and when the chemicals are released together…how toxic is that air? Would you agree to only one in a million risk to die for the incinerator? NOT…. EPA set these standards based on the technology….not the health of those exposed…somethimes they approves a 1 person in 100 at risk for caner for some air polluting plants and drinking water standards! They did this with the arsenic in drinking water standard! That has now been changed to
    a 1 in 500 risk.

    NO ONE IS SAFE…and children are especially vulnerable…..EPA made the decision that people are expendable…..FOR PROGRESS…..the general public has no idea …. and have not been given a choice.

    Like I was told one day when I was at a Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant meeting with my two young boys…I missed receiving the Rocky Flats Advisory notice when I purchased my first home… It said, “Your
    ground is contaminated with plutonium, but it is within the EPA guidelines”. “Joan, everything you do involves a risk…” plutonium is not toxic…

    Wait, did I have choice? Plutonium was in the air, the surrounding lakes, in the drinking water…
    Do you believe plutonium is safe to breathe, and drink? The Risk assessments at Rocky Flats said it’s OK.

    Do you believe it? Well, Rocky Flats has been shut down…But it was a Superfund site! It planned
    on burning tons of plutonium hazardous waste as a regional incinerator…in a state of the art incinerator…
    Employees are now dying and the government is compensating them.

    SCIENCE SAID INCINERATORS WERE/ARE GREAT…. SOME UNIVERSITY PROFESSORS SAID SO TOO…..
    POLITICIANS DIDN’T HELP…
    But citizen investigation (and lawsuits)….and certainly the help of the FBI closed that Rocky Flats incinerator finally….they were burning at night…with no permit!

    Follow the money…learn the about incinerators…it’s not rocket science…they all fail at some point some are pinto’s at the beginning…and please….

    Listen to Dr. Paul Connett’s science….!

    Joan
    zerowastecolorado! Paul…this one’s for you.

    Like

  3. David March 21, 2016 at 6:57 AM #

    The problem we have in Barbados is that we have no credible third party to monitor air quality and all the other components required to protect citizens from potential hazards. Even before we get so far the procurement process must be transparent.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kammie Holder March 21, 2016 at 6:59 AM #

    Dear Friends in GAIA,

    I attach my comments addressed to the US Department of Agriculture opposing their financial support for this incinerator.

    I believe there will be very useful information in these comments which could be very helpful to any community confronted with a proposal to build a trash incinerator in a rural area which has the potential to impact agriculture.

    Such communities are very vulnerable to the subtleties of risk assessment which can be manipulated to present what looks like a solid scientific case for safety. These risk assessments are very expensive. Only the promoters can afford them – and most citizens – even scientifically trained ones- can be bamboozled by the dodges.

    I would be anxious to communicate with any one in GAIA who has had experience in deciphering these giant obfuscations. I am concerned that something has happened to food chain exposure modeling which has quietly overturned the work that Tom Webster and I painstakingly published from 1987-1991. For example, in this risk assessment the consulting company (Arcadis) is claiming that dioxin exposure via ingestion of milk compared to inhalation is 1 to 1. Our calculations (vindicated by field measurements in Austria in 1989) indicated that it should be 200 to1. Big difference.

    Maybe we could have a workshop on risk assessment shenanigans at the GAIA meeting in Paris.

    Paul Connett

    Like

  5. Sunshine Sunny Shine March 21, 2016 at 7:00 AM #

    Does anyone know how to use photoshop? I want to make some flyers. I got this cs3 thing on my computer, but it looks so darn complicated. I would like to make a flyer and post it here on BU stating:

    The Government of the Day, Robbed of the Cahill Way

    Do not let elected government officials continue to operate in a non-transparent, non-accountability environment.

    It’s our money too, we should be able to say what to do.

    Like

  6. Kammie Holder March 21, 2016 at 7:09 AM #

    “North Carolina adopted a renewable energy portfolio standard in 2007 that requires state utilities to produce some of the power they sell from renewable fuels.
    The state has set aside a requirement that a small part of that power be produced by swine waste.

    But the utilities to date have not been able to purchase enough power produced by swine waste to meet that standard.”

    http://www.bizjournals.com/triad/news/2016/03/17/duke-energy-could-announce-swine-waste-project.html

    Like

  7. Violet C Beckles March 21, 2016 at 7:52 AM #

    The crooks are the government and the government at the crooks ,problem I.D.ed

    Like

  8. Redfactor101 March 21, 2016 at 2:26 PM #

    How much was it actually sold for???
    The sale price will tell us how she can actually pay for services she fraudently contract for
    First mortgage
    Ridgemount second mortgage
    Liz Spencer
    Real estate fees
    There’s nothing left??????????
    No money = no company= no contract.

    Like

  9. Due Diligence March 21, 2016 at 3:13 PM #

    Redfactor101 March 21, 2016 at 2:26 PM #

    “How much was it actually sold for???”

    Will try to dig up the sale price and status of the Ridgemount POS action

    Like

  10. David March 21, 2016 at 5:41 PM #

    @Redfactor

    According to NorthernObserver (who posted in the Diaspora Corner) it sold for 5.7.

    Like

  11. pieceuhderockyeahright March 21, 2016 at 6:18 PM #

    @ SSS

    Try this program.

    It is really simple and it gives you a few templates that you can adjust.

    The learning curve for the others can be quite steep and if you are like me all you want is to know how to change a background picture and some text.

    De granson give me this

    http://www.hp.com/global/uk/en/consumer/digital_photography/free/software/photo-creations.html?jumpid=ba_r329_hhoaffiliate&aid=38293&pbid=kXQk6*ivFEQ&aoid=35252&siteid=kXQk6.ivFEQ-ku2.JyWXPzkYibM6SG0Mkg

    Remember that i am still coming for you

    Like

  12. NorthernObserver March 21, 2016 at 10:48 PM #

    For clarification, it was not penthouse, they go for double this price

    Like

  13. NorthernObserver March 21, 2016 at 10:52 PM #

    @Redfactor
    somebody(s) will be short. I suspect Spencer gets $0, and Ridgemount takes a haircut. The first mortgage should get all. However as I recall, Spencers loan wasn’t secured.

    Like

  14. NorthernObserver March 22, 2016 at 12:04 AM #

    @PUDRYR
    this isn’t a cyber chosselling site?
    And how ya know all she wants is to change a background and add some text LOL Maybe she wants to do some further augmenting!!!

    Like

  15. Sunshine Sunny Shine March 22, 2016 at 2:47 AM #

    Thanks my sweet piece. I know I can always count on you.

    Like

  16. David March 22, 2016 at 3:05 AM #

    Thanks NorthernObserver.

    Like

  17. Bush Tea March 22, 2016 at 7:17 AM #

    @ David and NorthernObserver
    Wunna could talk ….
    Wunna see those eyes…?
    …dat nose…?

    Piece in deep trouble…..🙂

    Like

  18. Tron March 22, 2016 at 11:06 AM #

    As Trump said: I create you a webpage for three dollars. Just look at Cahill Energy.

    Every user on BU would have figured out that something is terribly wrong with Cahill. No sign of history, investors or technology.

    As David said before, we will see what happens next. Rocket to the moon? Naval base for China! Converting sand to gold? God save Barbados.

    Like

  19. Well Well & Consequences March 22, 2016 at 11:29 AM #

    Hants…ex-mayor of Toronto Rob Ford died today.

    Like

  20. Tron March 22, 2016 at 12:32 PM #

    @Well Well & Consequences

    Did he promise to invest in Barbados as well?

    Like

  21. David March 22, 2016 at 12:48 PM #

    There is no doubt Mia raising the matter of Cahill when the country was tuned in greatly catapulted the movement against.

    Like

  22. Well Well & Consequences March 22, 2016 at 2:49 PM #

    Tron…I dont think so..Ford had too many problems of his own these last few years to be concerned with the idiot leaders in Barbados…

    Like

  23. Due Diligence March 22, 2016 at 5:17 PM #

    WW&C

    They make Rob Ford look good

    Like

  24. Bruce Wayne March 23, 2016 at 6:20 AM #

    Cowan’s next address: A cardboard box at the corner of Jarvis and Sherbourn Streets. Toronto, postal code hah aha.

    Like

  25. Redfactor101 March 23, 2016 at 10:11 AM #

    @bruce
    Jarvis and sherbourne run parralel however there is a very nice Des Res called the mission down on Jarvis . only problem is there are genuine people staying there who might protest her boney ass showing up there .

    Isn’t it time the minister’s responsible de Clare ( pun intended) this abomination dead and buried.

    Like

  26. David March 23, 2016 at 12:13 PM #

    In the same way Sinckler came to the public airwaves in a declaration of being transparent minister Lowe must do the same if the government is to be taken seriously.

    Lowe tell us about the intricacies of the Cahill deal please!

    Like

  27. Due Diligence March 23, 2016 at 1:02 PM #

    Redfactor101 March 23, 2016 at 10:11 AM #

    “Isn’t it time the minister’s responsible de Clare ( pun intended) this abomination dead and buried.”

    de Clare

    Luv it LOL LOL

    Like

  28. pieceuhderockyeahright March 23, 2016 at 1:11 PM #

    @ David [BU]

    Minister LoweDown de Clare the intricacies? nevah happen

    Dat would mean dat Lowdown expose all uh de conspirators – Quisling Boyce and Fine Ants in an act akin to treason and de two uh dem wud kill he befo’ de udder ting do.

    Fumbles have warn all uh dem (the verb “have” agreeing with “dem” not Fumbles) dat dere is to be “no more leaks or tings dat can embar-ass de DLP GoB at this sensitive time”

    “Dere has got to be smooth sailing into the General Elections, and de nex 5 years, so clean up wunna front house”

    “Fellers I know dat wunna ent like me as Prime Minister but, if wunna replace me now, it going sen’ ovah de wrong message tuh de general public”…. “and to besides, i has gi’ each one uh wunna a ministry whey wunna has been able tuh teif a few million each. Why destroy de fatted calf??””

    “de onliest one uh wunna dat ent get no ministry is Patrick Todd and wunna dun know dat Patrick only want tuh talk bout gutters, and sidewalks, and de sexual preferences of Ministers and I going get a Bull, sorry, a Bill dat he cud lead in de house pun dat, presented in de house soon”

    Like

  29. Redfactor101 March 24, 2016 at 5:57 AM #

    Now that the Toronto address is no longer a valid address for Cahill energy
    There needs to be a notification to the government on this change. It would be a good time the government to have Cowan De Clare all the judgements against her and that the company called Cahill energy is no longer a viable entity.
    The Guernsey trust company Blenheim’s are required by law to notify us as is Lex Caribbean on CEB. Any judgements against Cahill or an officer of the company needs to be De
    Clared.
    There also needs to be a class action suit initiated against Clare Cowan and Taylor Wessing for misrepresentation and duplicity in this unholy mess.

    Like

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