Letters to the Editor

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BIOMASS: Do the math on proposed plant

Letter by Terri A. Thomas, Union on May 24, 2010 at 11:51 am | No Comments »
June 1, 2010 9:42 am

Adage/Areva is proposing a biomass plant in Mason County that will collect feedstock from a 50- to 75-mile radius. Its website describes slash piles and using “that clean wood residue” and converting 600,000 green tons per year into electricity. It referenced a biomass inventory that estimates 2.4 million green tons of clean woody biomass is produced each year in Mason and Grays Harbor counties.

However, if you look closely at the inventory, which was funded by Ecology and is at www.pacificbiomass.org, logging residue from these two counties is only 253,568 tons. Even if you combine all forestry biomass (logging residue, forest thinning, mill residue and land-clearing debris) for the two counties, it is only 1.2 million tons and 970,976 of that is mill residue.

Most mill residue is already being used and is not available to Adage. So Adage seems to be very short of feedstock. What does it plan on using for feedstock for its 65 megawatt power plant? Standing trees? John Deere is part of the project, too. Look at the energy recovery equipment on its website; you will see it isn’t to clean up slash piles, it is to efficiently take down trees and bundle them.

So the tax revenue won’t be there, and the plant would be a huge negative impact in terms of air quality, water use and wastewater output. Increased logging means increased flooding and impacts to waterways.

Why is this being considered? Get vocal if you care.

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