Dynamis Quizzed by Boise, Meridian, Eagle, Garden City Officials

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Wade Thomas, Dynamis Senior Vice President of Legal and Finance, left, and Chris Durand, Dynamis Director of Engineering, right.
  • Andrew Crisp
  • Wade Thomas, Dynamis senior vice president of legal and finance, left, and Chris Durand, Dynamis director of engineering, right.

The controversial waste-to-energy Dynamis plant was on the front burner late Thursday afternoon at the Ada County Courthouse, as representatives from each of Ada County's cities grilled Ada County commissioners and Dynamis officials about plans for the incinerator.

The Eagle-based Dynamis plans for a facility that burns massive amounts of garbage through a process called "gassification." The plant would divert a percentage of waste from the Ada County landfill, with the power generated sold to Idaho Power.

The meeting began with a presentation by Dynamis' Senior Vice President of Legal and Finance Wade Thomas, Director of Engineering Chris Durand and the company's Chairman and CEO Lloyd Mahaffey.

Mahaffey noted that the project's permit through the Department of Environmental Quality stated the plant would burn 6.1 tons of car tires per day, rather than the 61 tons previously reported by some media outlets. But officials, representing the cities of Boise, Eagle, Garden City and Meridian, expressed concerns about the plant's emissions. Dynamis representatives said they hoped to dispel any rumors with an independent study and planned continuous audit system.

While Ada County Commissioners Rick Yzagguire and Sharon Ullman trumpeted the proposed plant's benefits, new Commissioner Dave Case and representatives from the cities, including Boise Council President Maryanne Jordan and Council Member Elaine Clegg, said they needed more information about the contract between Dynamis and the county.

Ullman said that by turning trash over to Dynamis, the landfill could avoid raising rates for county citizens, and generate "much-needed Idaho-grown power."

"The bottom line is, this project reduces the amount going to the landfill," said Ullman. "Since 2006, we've spent $31.8 million to dig holes and line them."

Both Clegg and Jordan expressed their concerns about the amount spent by Ada County on the Dynamis project to date, and about the 30-year contract between the county and Dynamis.

Ultimately, the discussion turned to a possible scenario of what could happen to Ada County if the Dynamis project failed to work as planned.

"I think the fact that we're willing to spend $76 million to turn it on, that's the validation," said Mahaffey.