Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Anacortes WA water program features "virtual bottled water plant"

Last night, residents of Anacortes, Washington learned about the transportation impacts of a one-million-gallons-a-day water bottling plant, thanks to a presentation by local engineer Ralph Bennett and the group Defending Water in the Skagit River Basin. Bennett then extrapolated the impacts to the 5-million gallon-per-day plant that the Anacortes City Council agreed to allow bottler Tethys Enterprises to build.

The audience learned that a million-gallon-a-day plant would produce 7.5 million half-liter bottles and ship 5,000 tons of freight per day. Those bottles would fill 200 heavy trucks or 100 rail cars per day. The proposed plant, working at full capacity, would double the number of tractor-trailers on nearby Route 20, or add 400 rail cars to a local spur line--nearly 16 times the present number.

AfD regional representative Rebecca Wolfe reported that the program was very well received, with lots of great questions from the audience. One city councillor was present, too.

Dr. Bennett is a retired researcher and director at the Idaho National Laboratory, where he explored issues related to the siting and permitting of large nuclear facilities. We hope to get his presentation up online soon!

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