Date: On Wed, Sep 22, 2010 at 3:16 PM
From: Brad Lofton <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Thank you for your e-mail and the professional way in which you have come and met with our staff to discuss these issues. I certainly respect your concerns, especially since you felt it important enough to take the time to meet with us a number of times to pursue dialogue and exchange information.
You are absolutely correct in stating that we provided you peer reviewed scientific literature proving that biomass plants are indeed carbon neutral. Dr. Carl Manning, an environmental professor at VSU who has done significant research in biomass, agrees and completely supports our project. It is also important to note that we will be using inert landfill material that would otherwise produce methane if left to rot in a landfill. As you know, methane is considered a greenhouse gas. This is another very positive environmental benefit of our project (one of many). Carbon is absolutely not an issue with our plant.
Rest assured that no trees will be harvested for this plant. The plant’s EPD permit is very specific about this point, and federal tax credits require the use of “wood waste.” Any deviation will result in plant closure by the EPD. Our Authority would not have supported “whole log” production, because of the environmental impact and also because of the competition it would create for several of our large existing industries (PCA, Langdale) that count on whole logs for production. We made the use of “wood waste” a condition of moving forward.
A couple of other areas of misinformation that we would like to correct:
1.) Despite what Mrs. Touchton stated, we’ve been in touch with the Massachusetts and Florida EPD, and in no way, shape, or form is either state banning biomass facilities. In fact, there are 15 scheduled now for New England, many in Mass, and a number in Florida. There have been discussions regarding the level of incentives (tax credits) allowed, but no moratorium. We’ll be happy to share our contacts with you.
2.) We are not spending $110 million in taxpayer’s money to build this facility. The funding is private and financed by Wiregrass Power, LLC. We’ve read this in circulated e-mails Mrs. Touchton has authored. In fact, our facility is actually paying substantial dollars per year to the community.
Finally, I think the raw facts dispute any ongoing issues related to environmental racism.
Have a great day!
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