The Ada County Planning and Zoning Commission will hold a special meeting Thursday to consider petitions requesting a public hearing on the Dynamis project.
The commission majority has so far refused to hold a public hearing on the proposed plant that would turn landfill trash into gas and produce power with that gas. They say a hearing is not necessary because the Dynamis project is an allowed use within the county-owned landfill.
On Sept. 11, citizens delivered to the county petitions signed by 181 people calling for a public hearing on the Dynamis project. This is allowable under state law if "20 affected persons petition for a hearing."
The Planning and Zoning Commissioners have agreed to hold a special meeting to discuss the petitions. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. in the main floor hearing room, Ada County Courthouse, 200 W. Front St.
Here are some other recent Dynamis-related developments:
County engineer resigns: Ada County Engineer Jim Farrens resigned earlier this month, in part because of the countys handling of the Dynamis project. Farrens, who was appointed by the commissioners in 2006, wrote a letter Aug. 28 to his boss, Development Services Director Meg Leatherman, conveying his concerns about the Dynamis project.
In order to verify that the project will perform as designed, I believe that a professional peer review of the plans and documents is clearly called for in order to assure that the safety, health and welfare of the public is not jeopardized by this project. Although I am a licensed professional engineer, I am not qualified by experience or training to perform a professional peer review of this project, Farrens wrote.
My comments were duly disregarded, Farrens told the Idaho Statesman. When he realized Commissioners Rick Yzaguirre and Sharon Ullman were not going to heed his advice, and there was a mutual lack of trust and mutual lack of respect with his supervisors, he resigned.
It was the only honorable thing to do, Farrens said. The county has shown a blatant disregard for the health and safety of its citizens and I wanted no part of that, Farrens told the Statesman.
No lease agreement: The county still does not have a signed agreement with Dynamis to lease about 10 acres at the county-owned landfill to build its trash-to-energy facility. A draft agreement has been in discussion for more than a month.
The commissioners repeatedly scheduled meetings to approve the agreement, but Dynamis had not returned the draft, so each meeting was cancelled. The commission finally pulled the item off the agenda about three weeks ago. The commissioners also agreed the county cannot issue any building permits until the lease agreement is signed.
The commission is slated to once again consider the Dynamis lease agreement at its open business meeting 8:45 a.m. Tuesday, but first the commission will hold a public hearing on a resolution affirming the county has established an industrial park at the landfill. Under state law, a county can lease land it owns without going to public auction if it is for industrial park use. The agenda was posted about 5 p.m. Friday, but a copy of the proposed industrial park resolution was not posted, so it is not known on what the public is being asked to comment. There will be no public hearing on the lease agreement.
DEQ air quality permit further delayed: The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality has announced it needs additional time to review Dynamis air quality permit application. The state plans to send a draft of its proposed final action to Dynamis within the next 2 to 4 weeks. Dynamis has up to 10 days to respond to the draft. Then DEQ will issue a public notice for a 30-day comment period.
Once the public comment period closes, DEQ has at least 15 days to respond to the public's comments and then an additional 15 days to issue its final action on the permit application.