Tracking Biomass Air Pollution on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula

Tracking Biomass Air Pollution on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"107","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"324","style":"width: 380px; height: 275px; margin-left: 7px; margin-right: 7px; float: left;","title":"Port Townsend Paper Company. Photo: Elaine Bailey","width":"480"}}]]Government agencies and policymakers have long turned a deaf ear to concerns with human health threats from biomass incineration. A new experimental study underway on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula may ultimately compel elected officials to act to protect public health from biomass incineration, while serving as a model for communities around the nation.

The Olympic Region Clean Air Agency (ORCAA) budgeted over half a million dollars to conduct this new experimental study “focusing on the impacts of biomass fueled cogeneration facilities on air quality downwind,” with additional monitoring of the air quality near two proposed biomass incinerators, a 20-megawatt facility at Nippon Industries in Port Angeles and a 24-megawatt facility at Port Townsend Paper Company in Port Townsend.

How to Stop a Biomass Incinerator

How to Stop a Biomass Incinerator

- by People for Clean Mountains

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"106","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"458","style":"width: 275px; height: 262px; margin-left: 7px; margin-right: 7px; float: left;","width":"480"}}]]On July 22, 2013 the Transylvania County, North Carolina Board of Commissioners voted 3-2 to enact a one year moratorium on the development and permitting of any biomass facility producing any output. This was the culmination of four months of effort by the citizens and officials of our community.

What was originally viewed as a NIMBY response to a proposal to bring “cutting edge” technology into our county, evolved past the notion of “Not In Anyone’s Back Yard” to a viewpoint of NOPE, Not on Planet Earth. Biomass incineration is a global issue, spewing tons of toxic chemicals and particulates into the atmosphere, destroying our environment through both pollution and choices of feedstock, from the introduction of invasive species of grass to feed the burners, to GMO trees and the decimation of our precious forests, up to and including the lunacy of burning garbage. 

Australia to Reverse Ban on Native Forest Incineration

Australia to Reverse Ban on Native Forest Incineration

- by Jenny Weber, Huon Valley Environment Centre  

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"105","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"480","style":"width: 300px; height: 400px; float: left; margin-left: 7px; margin-right: 7px;","title":"Photo: NSW Wires","width":"360"}}]]Australia’s New South Wales (NSW) state government has announced plans to allow native forests to be logged and burnt for electricity generation. Removing a ban on burning native forest wood for electricity would give a green light for the construction of electricity plants powered by native forests, proposals that attempt to prop up the collapsing export wood chipping market. 

The NSW Government has opened a submission period through the Environment Protection Authority for comment on this plan to amend the regulation that currently prohibits use of native forests for bio-energy. The Protection of the Environment Operations (General) Regulation 2009 currently prohibits the use of “native forest bio-materials” to generate electricity. 

The O’Farrell government is proposing to amend this regulation to enable the following vegetation on public or private land to be burnt for electricity generation: areas approved for logging for pulp products; vegetation that has been approved for clearing; offcuts and ‘waste’ from the timber industry. 

This amendment would increase logging and devastate NSW’s remaining native forests. Far-reaching damaging impacts on native wildlife survival, the health of communities and the state’s carbon emissions are likely consequences of the logging industry based in burning native forests for bio-energy.

Biomass Carpetbaggers

Biomass Carpetbaggers

- by Tom Tolg, August 20, 2013. Source: The Recorder  

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"104","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"298","style":"width: 300px; height: 186px; float: left; margin-left: 7px; margin-right: 7px;","width":"480"}}]]If Editor Blagg’s pro-biomass column was a meal I’d say it was a thin gruel of tainted leftovers along with a fruit salad loaded with sour grapes. 

Leaving the dinner table, we stumble onto “carpetbaggers” who Mr. Blagg identifies with the anti-biomass folks. If you Google “carpetbaggers,” you find that the term refers to post-Civil War quick-buck artists, or entrepreneurs if you wish, from outside the South, much like that slick-talking Matt Wolfe who envisioned profiting handsomely while clear-cutting hundreds or thousands of acres and adding more “particulates” to the air we breathe.

New York Biomass Incinerator Awaits $100 Million Handout

New York Biomass Incinerator Awaits $100 Million Handout

August 17, 2013, Source: Mid Hudson News Network

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"103","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"120","style":"width: 101px; height: 120px; float: left; margin-left: 7px; margin-right: 7px;","width":"101"}}]]The Taylor Biomass waste-to-energy project has had the support of U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-Cold Spring, since his candidacy for Congress last year.

The Orange County facility is awaiting a $100 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy and the freshman lawmaker said Thursday that the Obama Administration is now taking note of the project.

Gainesville, FL Biomass Settlement Offer Would Alter Contract with City

Gainesville, FL Biomass Settlement Offer Would Alter Contract with City

- by Christopher Curry, August 15, 2013. Source: The Gainesville Sun 

The biomass plant company has sent Gainesville its terms for dropping a $50 million arbitration counterclaim and some city officials say the terms are unacceptable.

The Gainesville Renewable Energy Center seeks no money to settle. Instead, GREC, which filed its counterclaim on the grounds that the city’s arbitration claim was an opportunistic attempt to force contract renegotiations, wants a series of modifications to the city’s contract to purchase power from the plant.

Some of the requested changes would make it easier for the company to sell the plant. Another requested change would require that the city notify GREC of any potential legal claim for breach of contract within 45 days of discovering the facts that would serve as the foundation of that claim. Otherwise, the city would lose its right to bring the legal claim.

Cellulosic Ethanol Refinery Proposal Loses Major Partner

Cellulosic Ethanol Refinery Proposal Loses Major Partner 

- by Warren Johnston, August 11, 2013. Source: Valley News

[For more information on this facility please read "Cellulosic Ethanol: A Bio-Fool's Errand"]

Mascoma Corp., the Lebanon-based developer of cutting-edge biofuels technology, has lost its major partner in a proposed $233 million ethanol plant in Michigan. 

Although Mascoma did not confirm the departure of the Texas-based energy giant Valero Energy Corp. and its promised $50 million investment, the company did say in an emailed statement Friday that a funding partner is being sought to build the Kinross, Mich., facility and another plant in Alberta, Canada. 

Biomass Moratorium for Brevard County, North Carolina

Biomass Moratorium for Brevard County, North Carolina

- by Kimberly King, August 2, 2013. Source: WLOS

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"94","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","style":"width: 333px; height: 314px; float: left; margin-left: 7px; margin-right: 7px;"}}]]Monday night at the Brevard county courthouse the gallery broke in in raucous applause after Transylvania Commissioners voted for a one-year moratorium that effectively stopped plans for a Biomass plant on private property in Penrose at the airport. 

"They listened to us," said Kevin Glenn, with the anti-plant grass roots group, People for Clean Mountains. "A 12-month moratorium is what we need." 

"We heard nothing from the developer(Renewable Developers Penrose LLC) at all, said Sandy Briggs, who came to support the group. "They had many chances."