SOUND AND FURY: BIOMASS INCINERATOR NOISE RILES RESIDENTS
(November 2013 - Vol. 4, issue 11)
Biomass Incinerator Noise a Nightmare to Neighbors
A “continuous roar.” Jet planes “revving” up for takeoff. Being on an “aircraft carrier during operations.” That’s how neighbors of the Gainesville Renewable Energy Center (GREC) describe the noise coming from the 100 megawatt biomass incinerator’s initial test runs.
Air pollution, climate disruption, forest degradation, and water consumption are the most obvious drawbacks of biomass incineration. Yet community members unlucky enough to live in close proximity to biomass power facilities must also endure wood dust, truck traffic, and — most distressingly — noise from the facility itself.
As a rash of taxpayer subsidized biomass incinerators spreads across the U.S., more and more communities — from Gainesville, Florida to Rothschild, Wiscosin — are literally waking up to this unbearable noise.
A "Report to the County Manager Regarding Noise" accompanied an inspection of the Gainesville Renewable Energy Center in September, noting “several sources of noise... of different frequencies, duration and loudness.” These included the “truck/fuel unloading operation, the conveyor systems and reclaimer, the dust collectors, the deaerator vents, the boiler, and the water cooling towers.”
The inspection also described a “high pitched ‘squeaking’” from conveyor belts and a “low pitched constant ‘humming’” thought to be caused by... [READ MORE]
Victims of the Biomass Plant
- by Judy Hooker
The city of Gainesville government isn't the intelligent, forward thinking group I would have imagined. Is it somehow cool to victimize an otherwise beautiful community for financial gain? People and wildlife alike will pay a huge price for your callous actions.
I am speaking of the Turkey Creek area that was selected for extinction by way of a biomass wood-burning plant. This plant sounds like a jet plane and looks like my idea of hell. But I don't think noise is the worst of many unwelcome gifts from this plant. As I sat on my porch recently, I was assaulted by a smell in the air. As I approached the front gate in my car later, I smelled the same odor again. Who is planning to monitor this monstrosity?
Most of the residents of Turkey Creek are seniors. I suspect that is why this particular site was chosen to erect something so controversial. Someone understood we came here to retire and enjoy nature and golf. They figured we wouldn't be inclined to fight for what was already promised us. We worked hard to earn the right to retire in a special place. We certainly wouldn't have chosen to live close to a biomass plant.
I challenge any of you who had any input in this project to put your life savings into a dream home in Turkey Creek, close to the noise and smoke you sanction for others. Of course that will not happen. You will choose to be far from what you would have us contend with. You have robbed us all of much of our enjoyment of retirement, apparently without conscience — and yes, we have been robbed! [READ MORE]
Tribes Targeted for Biomass Mess
- by Leah Sue Dodge, Oneida Eye
Along with the push to sell Tribes dioxin-emitting incinerators of municipal solid waste, such as those promoted by Oneida Seven Generations Corporation, there is also a push to entangle Tribes – including the Oneida Tribe – in building biomass incinerators, but recent court decisions and scientific findings should cause every Tribe to avoid the biomess.
Recently a Federal Court appeals decision was handed down that said the EPA had no justification for allowing biomass incinerators to avoid accountability for their CO2 emissions... [READ MORE]
Bioenergy -- A Disaster for Biodiversity, Health and Human Rights
- by Rachel Smolker, Biofuelwatch
Since humans first learned to manipulate fire, people have used local biomass—including wood, other plant matter, and dried animal dung—for heat and for cooking. Billions of people continue to do so. But now, in addition to these traditional uses there is an unprecedented push for large-scale industrial/commercial bioenergy.
This new trend includes refining plant materials (corn, wheat and other grains, sugarcane, soy and palm oil) to make liquid biofuels for transportation and burning plant materials (wood, agricultural residues, municipal waste, etc.) for heat and electricity.
Less widely known is the development of plant-based petroleum substitutes for use in bioplastics, biochemicals, inks, fabrics, pharmaceuticals, and other products. Proponents refer to a new “bioeconomy” featuring massive biorefineries that take in millions of tons of plant biomass and convert them into all manner of energy and material... [READ MORE]
Open Letter on Biofuels in Committee on World Food Security
- by International Food Security and Nutrition Civil Society Mechanism
The artificial demand for biofuels is undermining the right to food, causing significant increases in food insecurity, malnutrition, and land-grabbing. The fast-growing demand for biofuels is largely the result of direct and indirect subsidies, including mandatory blending quotas and targets, especially in the EU and the Americas.
We are deeply concerned that the recommendations in the current Committee on Food Security draft Decision Box would not protect the right to food from existing biofuels policies and the growing demand for biofuels. Instead, the text proposal refers to the alleged benefits of biofuels, which have not been shown to exist at any significant scale... [READ MORE]
Wood Bioenergy: Green Land Grabs for "Renewable" Energy
- by Global Forest Coalition and Biofuelwatch
At a meeting of the Convention on Biodiversity, Global Forest Coalition and Biofuelwatch launched a new report highlighting the impacts of expanding use of wood for generating industrial scale electricity and heat, especially in Europe and North America. Wood Bioenergy: Green Land Grabs for Renewable Energy, points to EU demand where both dedicated biomass facilities and conversion of coal plants to biomass are resulting in a new international trade in wood pellets.
Estimates are that the UK alone will burn pellets made from 82 million tonnes of wood, eight times the country’s total domestic wood production. Most pellets are now being imported from forests in the southern USA and British Columbia, Canada, but other regions are being eyed as potential future sources... [READ MORE]