A video of
a hearing about the biomass plant Wiregrass Power LLC proposes
to build in Lowndes County just outside of Valdosta was held
in Valdosta on 27 April 2010
by the Air Protection Branch (APD)
of the Environmental Protection Division (EPD) of the Georgia
Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
Eric Cornwell of APD explains location,
process flow, and specific items
covered by the permit (soot, SO2, NOX, CO, VOC, HCL, etc., but not
He remarks that Wiregrass Power LLC is building a small plant with a
“lower emission limit in order to avoid some of the red tape”
by getting a minor permit instead of a major permit.
The first half hour concludes with Bob Turner, the plant manager,
presenting similar material, ending with:
“No new carbon is added to the atmosphere when burning woody byproducts.”
When compared to coal, per megawatt, this burning [biomass and the like] emits 1.5 times the carbon dioxide (CO2), 1.5 times the carbon monoxide (CO, a toxic air pollutant), and as much particulate matter.
Georgia already has the country’s dirtiest coal plant, at Juliette, near Macon.
Do we need still more CO2?
the Wiregrass biomass plant planned for Valdosta is somehow more efficient than the one
If so, it would be good to hear about that; I don’t recall the topic coming up
at the Lowndes County Commission meeting in which this plant was approved.
Dr. Bussing elaborated in a recent letter:
The fallacy is in believing that plants take up all
CO2 emissions. In fact plants absorb some, the
ocean absorbs more (and as a consequence is
becoming more acidic by the year), but a
portion just stays and builds up in the
atmosphere. That buildup is associated with
global warming, and it doesn’t matter if the
CO2 comes from coal, gas or biomass.