GBB, in a six-year contract, assisted in: evaluating options for resource recovery; preparing a Programmatic Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and an Environmental Impact Study; and evaluating total solid waste system cost impacts of the City’s planned curbside collection program. GBB worked on the institutional arrangements (contracts, procurement, financing) necessary to provide the City with a long-term method of handling solid waste. In the first phase of this project, the GBB Project Team undertook the following tasks: a detailed economic analysis for electricity-generating and cogeneration resource recovery facilities sized for various processing capacities; a preliminary EIA of the proposed site area; an energy market selection process; a site search and selection process identifying and evaluating more than ten potential facility sites and selecting the preferred three; coordination of a risk/financing/procurement workshop in Seattle for City and project participants; survey of the recovered-materials markets and an investigation of residue disposal options; and determination of the residue and transfer haul costs for the proposal resource recovery project options.
GBB also served as prime contractor for an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on waste management alternatives. The scope of the EIS involved two components: a programmatic EIS that evaluated the potential impact of five broad alternatives; and a site-specific EIS that analyzed the effects of a waste-to-energy facility located in an industrial area of Seattle. The broad alternatives included waste reduction and recycling programs, joining the King County waste management disposal system, disposing waste in a new landfill in another jurisdiction (includes long-haul transport), forming an agreement with the Tulalip Tribes to dispose of waste in a waste-to-energy plant on reservation lands, and burning the nonrecycled waste in the Seattle waste-to-energy plant. A variety of options within the Seattle waste-to-energy alternatives were examined.
The technical scope of the EIS for this project involved full disclosure of baseline conditions, environmental effects, and mitigation measures to avoid or reduce any impacts. The technical studies included air dispersion modeling, disposition modeling, health risk assessment, traffic analysis, land-use compatibility, consistency with City plans and policies, and visual simulations of the facility, among others. The EIS also included a detailed economic analysis of the total system costs of each programmatic and project-specific alternative. A document was also compiled to respond to comments received in over 100 letters and from 70 individuals who attended the public hearing on the draft EIS.
GBB also evaluated the cost impacts of the curbside recycling program and recommended it on a financial basis for implementation by the City, provided that an aggressive media campaign be conducted to ensure the goals of new tonnage of recycled materials would be met, and that the system be closely monitored to determine the impact on the existing recycling system.