WCTV on Biomass

A couple of biomass plant stories from WCTV.

On April 28 Deneige Broom wrote, Proposed Plant Raises Air Quality Questions:

A Biomass plant could bring business and money to the area. But some want to be assured their health won’t suffer in the name of progress.
Some good quotes in there:
Dr. Brad Bergstrom attended the hearing wants concrete answers.

“There’s not going to be anything in the permit that will say, you can only burn this much sewage sludge,” said Bergstrom. “The company plans to only burn a small percentage but once they get their permit, that could change.”

Cornwell said their job is make a judgment based on the proposed emissions.

“It really depends on the level of control with those after market add-on control devices that are applied to keep those emissions down to where you need them to be,” said Cornwell.

Since they aren’t proposing to cause major emissions, more stringent regulatory procedures aren’t mandatory.

“Only a few of them [emissions] will be monitored continuously and others will be monitored periodically and they couldn’t even tell us how frequently,” said Bergstrom.

Eric Cornwell is “the Permitting Program Manager for the Georgia EPD-Air Protection Branch.”


It seemed the biggest concern most people had was just making sure that everything the company is proposing, will actually be enforced.

The air quality permit is still in the draft stages so it would still be at least a couple months before it’s approved or rejected.

A solar-powered component has also been proposed for the plant. If all goes as planned, that would be constructed by the end of 2010, well before the Biomass component.

Seems to me the proponents of this plant need to be more forthcoming, and better monitoring needs to be in place. Otherwise, why not just build out the solar plant larger and forget the biomass plant?

Lest anyone think this plant is inevitable, on March 17 Stephanie Salvatore wrote: Biomass Plant No Longer Coming to Gretna. Gretna is near Tallahassee, and little more than 100 miles from Valdosta.

Written comments about the proposed air quality permit for the proposed Valdosta biomass plant can be send until 5 May to:

Eric Cornwell
Environmental Protection Division
4424 International Parkway, Suite 120
Atlanta, GA 30354
For the permit application and the proposed permit, see the previous post.

John S. Quarterman