Tulsa’s trash board moves ahead with a plan to pick up green waste at the curb and send it to the incinerator.
Matt Newman with Covanta gave the Tulsa Authority for the Recovery of Energy board an overview of the burn plant’s pollutants output. He says it contributes a small proportion of Tulsa’s ozone-causing emissions, including nitrogen oxides, or NOx.
"Volatile organic compounds are 0.004 percent of the Tulsa regional airshed, and the NOx is 0.2 percent of the Tulsa regional emissions," Newman said. "That gives you some scope and scale."
Metropolitan Environmental Trust Chairman Michael Patton told the board burning green waste will increase those amounts, and Tulsa already has problems meeting EPA standards.
"The limit is 75 parts per million," Patton said. "Today, we are at 74 parts per million at the central Tulsa monitor — one part per billion from failing and being on the dirty air list.
"So if we can reduce NOx any way possible, including by avoiding burning green waste, I think Tulsa wins."
Ozone forms when sunlight reacts with hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides. Tulsa has decreased its ozone readings over the last three years.