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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Michael Krause and Kandiyohi Development are Once Again in (and out) of the News

An article about former director of the Green Institute Michael Krause and his company Kandiyohi Development appeared in the Twin Cities Daily Planet written by Dan Gordon. Gordon's article "Green Burning or Greenwashing" was about Kandiyohi's plan to build an $83 million, 22.5 megawatt generator fueled by the burning "biomass" mainly "tree waste and agricultural residue" in the Phillips neighborhood.

The article received a few scathing comments:


submitted by Jeremy Hanson (not verified) on Tue, 08/28/2007 - 12:11.
I'm disappointed and surprised that such an inaccurate article is featured on the TC Daily Planet. Are there no quality controls here? The line between news and opinion is clearly blurred in this piece and readers are left with misinformation about an important and positive project that will be a good thing for our city.


Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 08/28/2007 - 20:11.
This has to be a typo in one way or another:
The project partners, with unanimous support from the Minneapolis city council, went to Washington in 2003 to lobby Congressmember Martin Sabo and Senator Paul Wellstone.
As for this being an editorial, you don't really look at this as a legitimate news site, do you?


The first comment appears to be from Mayor Rybak's communication director Jeremy Hanson.

The Daily Planet yanked the article and replaced it with this comment:

CORRECTION: Green Burning or Greenwashing?

An article published on August 27, "Green burning or greenwashing?" contained several errors of fact. We regret the errors, and we have made substantial changes in our editing policy to ensure more careful review of articles written for the Daily Planet. We are in the process of reviewing the article, reverifying sources, interviewing new sources, and rewriting the article, which will appear next week as "CORRECTION: Green burning or greenwashing." The original article has been withdrawn from publication.

Posted: Thu, 08/30/2007 - 23:05

Google has a cache of the original article here.

This week's Southside Pride has an article on Kandiyohi's project. The City Pages also has an article on the burner this week.

Lloydletta has had posts on Kandiyohi and its potential conflicts of interest back in November 21st 2005 and December 19th 2005.


Alan Muller said...

I'm quoted in both versions of the story and I think they are both pretty accurate.

One point that is a bit subtle:

The draft permit alone for the burner doesn't *clearly* authorize the burning of garbage. HOWEVER, there is a Minnesota law saying in effect that any solid fuel "boiler" can burn up to 30% "Refuse Derived Fuel (ground up garbage)as a matter of right.

Minn. Stat. 116.90 Subd. 2. Use of refuse-derived fuel.

Subd. 2. Use of refuse-derived fuel. (a) Existing or new solid fuel fired boilers may utilize
refuse-derived fuel in an amount up to 30 percent by weight of the fuel feed stream under the
following conditions:


(c) The agency may not require, as a condition of using refuse-derived fuel under this
section, any additional monitoring or testing of a solid fuel fired boiler's air emissions beyond
the monitoring or testing required by state or federal law or by the terms of the solid fuel fired
boiler's permit issued by the agency.
History: 1991 c 337 s 56; 1992 c 593 art 1 s 33

According to the MPCA folk I've talked to, a permit change would be needed to burn garbage. Maybe so.

The key point is that under MN laws and regs are they now are, if a "biomass" burner goes in, the community can't be confident that it might not end up burning garbage. Historically, regulators and pols tend to allow more types of fuel to be burned when an incinerator needs a bailout--and they usually do.

Here's a link to more info:

Alan Muller