Biomass plant air quality permit approved, but is that final?

Georgia EPD approved the air quality permit for the Wiregrass Power LLC biomass plant on Perimeter Road just outside Valdosta in Lowndes County, with an effective date of July 19, 2010 (PDF, Word). Somebody may want to do the exercise of comparing the approved permit with the application to see if the process was entirely rubberstamp or whether any changes at all were made after the many questions people asked at the public hearing.

Meanwhile, is that it? Will the plant be built? Not necessarily:

This Permit is conditioned upon compliance with all provisions of The Georgia Air Quality Act, O.C.G.A. Section 12-9-1, et seq, the Rules, Chapter 391-3-1, adopted and in effect under that Act, or any other condition of this Permit.

This Permit may be subject to revocation, suspension, modification or amendment by the Director for cause including evidence of noncompliance with any of the above; or for any misrepresentation made in Application No. 19407 dated December 16, 2009; any other applications upon which this Permit is based; supporting data entered therein or attached thereto; or any subsequent submittals or supporting data; or for any alterations affecting the emissions from this source.

This Permit is further subject to and conditioned upon the terms, conditions, limitations, standards, or schedules contained in or specified on the attached 14 pages.

That last includes the conditions the Lowndes County Board of Commissioners placed on the plant when they approved rezoning for it.

And remember Gretna, Florida, where a biomass plant had jumped through all the regulatory hoops and was still not built because local opposition was strong enough that the investors pulled out. Remember Traverse City, Michigan, where local opposition caused the electrical utility board to shelve the project.

It’s never too late to reregulate our minds.