Contact: Meg Sheehan, Biomass Accountability Project
[email protected], 1-800-729-1363
Energy company Adage—a joint venture between nuclear power producer Areva and Duke Energy—cancelled plans for a 55-megawatt biomass electricity project in Port of Shelton, Washington, following over a year of citizen backlash spearheaded by Concerned Citizens of Mason County.
“This is a citizen victory,” said Beth McBain, spokesperson for Concerned Citizens of Mason County, which hosted public forums, rallies, and educated elected officials. Citizens opposed the project sayi that it is not “clean energy” and a waste of taxpayer and rate payer dollars. They also point to opposition by leading medical associations that oppose subsidies for the projects because the emissions contribute to asthma, cancer, heart disease and other public health problems. Greenhouse gas emissions, water, and forest ecosystems impacts are also a concern.
Meanwhile, biomass electricity projects Wisconsin, Florida and Massachusetts face similar citizen backlash.
In Rothschild, Wisconsin leading experts have registered concerns with the state over air emissions from the 50-megawatt biomass incinerator proposed by We Energies and Domtar Paper. A public education forum will be held in Rothchild on March 29 with presentations by Meg Sheehan, environmental attorney and Dr. Bill Sammons on the health risks and the negative taxpayer and ratepayer impacts of the project. The Domtar project is of particular concern due to the fact that it will expose 2,600 students from three elementary schools within two miles of the facility to toxic air pollutants. “At a time when we are in a budget crisis, taxpayer and ratepayer subsidies for dirty energy projects disguised as “clean” makes no sense,” said attorney Sheehan. “Citizens know that clean energy doesn’t come out of a smokestack, and the backlash against this form of renewable energy is widespread,” she added.
In Springfield, Massachusetts, citizen group Stop Toxic Incineration filed a petition with the Springfield Public Health Council on March 16, for a finding that Palmer Renewable Energy’s 35 megawatt electricity project. “may result in a nuisance or be harmful to the inhabitants, injurious to their estates, dangerous to the public health, or may be attended by noisome and injurious odors.”