Dynamis Garbage Gasifier
On November 19, 2012, Advocates for the West filed a petition for judicial review challenging the Ada County Commissioners creation of an industrial park at the County’s Hidden Hollow Landfill and approval of a lease agreement leasing nearly 10 acres at the landfill to Dynamis Energy, LLC. The petition, which was filed in Idaho state court on behalf of Idaho Conservation League (ICL), faults the Commissioners for approving the Dynamis lease without following Idaho’s laws governing the leasing of county land.
On February 15, 2013, Dynamis and Ada County Commissioners announced that they would be terminating their contract agreement and Dynamis would walk away from the lease agreement without pursuing legal action. Accordingly, we dismissed our petition for judicial review.
Dynamis’s proposal involved building a “waste-to-energy” facility, which would combust around 400 tons per day of the County’s waste, plus tires imported from out of state, to generate electricity. The facility would have been located in the Boise Foothills and would have generated 30 pounds of toxic ash waste every day, potentially releasing significant quantities of harmful pollutants, including dioxin and mercury, into the Treasure Valley airshed.
Despite strong public opposition and mounting uncertainty over the Dynamis facility’s technical feasibility, financing, and environmental impact, the Ada County Commissioners tried to push the project through with nearly no public involvement and without following the requirements of Idaho law since the project was first conceived in 2010.
ICL’s petition challenged the 30-year Dynamis lease for circumventing Idaho’s public auction requirement for leasing county land. Dynamis’s plan did not include authorized industrial park activities, like manufacturing, which are exempt from Idaho’s public auction requirement. Nevertheless, the Ada County Commissioners approved the lease without holding a public auction.
Our petition also challenged the lease – which passed by only a two-to-one vote and which set Dynamis’s rent at a mere $100 – for failing to satisfy Idaho’s requirement that rent be determined by unanimous vote of the Commissioners when no public auction has been held.