End of the Road for Greenfield, MA Biomass Incinerator

END OF THE ROAD FOR GREENFIELD BIOMASS PROJECT

Contact: Janet Sinclair 413-625-2886 / 413-478-4333

Concerned Citizens of Franklin County Greenfield, MA

July 18, 2013 

The plaintiffs appealing the Greenfield, MA Zoning Board decision to grant a Special Permit for a 47 Megawatt biomass power plant filed a request in the Franklin Superior Court to annul the permit. The request for the Final Judgment came after Cambridge, MA based Matthew Wolfe of Pioneer Renewable Energy allowed a July 16, 2013 deadline to pass.  The plaintiffs and the developer had agreed that if an amended permit was not submitted to the Greenfield Planning Board by the deadline, the permit would be annulled. 

The permit was issued in July 22, 2009. 450 people attended the permit hearings. Most who spoke were against the project, expressing concerns including questions about the wood supply and negative health and environmental impacts. 

Seneca Biomass Incinerator Requests Increase in Pollution Cap

Seneca Biomass Incinerator Requests Increase in Pollution Cap

- by Diane Dietz, July 17, 2013. Source: The Register-Guard 

The owners of a 2½-year-old electricity plant fueled with logging scraps have struggled to meet clean air standards since the facility began operations on the outskirts of Eugene and are asking regulators for a little more leeway to pollute. 

Seneca Sustainable Energy, on Highway 99 north of Eugene, has been caught by regulators spouting too much carbon monoxide, too much dark smoke and too much acetaldehyde — in conjunction with the Seneca sawmill next door. Plus, there has been uncertainty about how much fine particulate the plant emits.

In addition, the company ran seven months with its pollution controls for nitrogen oxides switched off, according to regulatory reports.

Biofuel Investments at Seven-year Low

Biofuel investments at seven-year low

July 8, 2013. Source: Bloomberg

Europe’s biggest oil companies are scaling back work on the next generation of biofuels, a setback for the effort to create a gasoline substitute that doesn’t drain the food supply. 

BP Plc (BP/) and Royal Dutch Shell (RDSA) Group Plc have halted funds for four separate ventures because the technology to produce fuel from woody plants and waste won’t be economical until 2020 or beyond, executives at both companies said in interviews.

Biomass Plans Withdrawn for Isle of Wight

Biomass Plans Withdrawn for Isle of Wight

- by Ross Findon, July 9, 2013. Source: Isle of Wight County Press

The surprise decision by Real Ventures was announced this morning (Tuesday) just hours before the Isle of Wight Council was due to consider an application by the company to extend its preferred bidder status for a former landfill site at Stag Lane.

Biomass Incinerator Proposed for Vidalia, Louisiana

Biomass Incinerator Proposed for Vidalia, Louisiana

July 12, 2013. Source: The Advocate 

Hinterland LLC is planning a $100 million-plus, 50-job biomass facility in the 130-acre Vidalia Industrial Park.

“We are excited to announce and welcome Hinterland LLC as our newest resident in the Vidalia Industrial Park,” said Vidalia Mayor Hyram Copeland said in a news release. The site has direct access to the Vidalia Port, which is under development.

Court Rejects EPA Rule that Deferred Carbon Standards for Biomass Industry

Court Rejects EPA Rule that Deferred Carbon Standards for Biomass Industry

- by Jeremy P. Jacobs and Jean Chemnick, July 12, 2013. Source: Environment and Energy Daily

A three-judge panel scrapped a U.S. EPA rule today that had given biomass-burning facilities a pass on compliance with federal greenhouse gas emission standards.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit panel found EPA failed to justify its 2011 decision that provided a three-year exemption to its greenhouse gas rules for facilities that burn materials ranging from wood and algae to scrap tires.

In exempting biomass, EPA said it needed more time to study the overall impact of the industry's carbon dioxide emissions. Industry has contended that in some instances -- wood burning, for example -- biomass facilities have a net neutral CO2 impact because trees absorb the heat-trapping gas before they are cut down.

Biomass Opponents Take on Congress [The Biomass Monitor]

Biomass Opponents Take on Congress

- by Josh Schlossberg, The Biomass Monitor

Eighty-five organizations from twenty-six states (and counting) have signed on to a letter to U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, insisting that the Senator protect Americans from harmful air pollution by ending his support for biomass incineration.

Amidst Opposition, a Conference and Industry in Crisis [The Biomass Monitor]

Amidst Opposition, a Conference and Industry in Crisis

- by Will Bennington, Global Justice Ecology Project 

(Photo: Orin Langelle/photolangelle.org)

Hundreds of activists descended upon Asheville, North Carolina in May for a week of major protests at the international bi-annual Tree Biotechnology conference. The conference, hosted by the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), is a major gathering for genetically engineered (GE) tree industry representatives, researchers and policy makers.

Energy Justice Network Pushes for Clean Air in Allentown, PA

Energy Justice Network Pushes for Clean Air in Allentown, PA

June 18, 2013. Source: Colin McEvoy, The Express Times 

A clean air bill proposed by opponents of the planned Allentown waste-to-energy plant may be at odds with state law. The city released a copy of a letter today from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection arguing that any such ordinance is pre-empted by state law.

Tree plantations and bioenergy with carbon capture: far from “safe” geoengineering

Tree plantations and bioenergy with carbon capture: far from “safe” geoengineering J

June 11, 2013. Source: Almuth Ernsting, Hands Off Mother Earth.

 Amongst geoengineering methods, ‘afforestation’, Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) and biochar are commonly promoted as ‘safe’, benign’ or ‘soft’ options – unlike, say, shooting sulphur particles into the stratosphere.

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