Public Hearing on Nippon Biomass Project – 9/22 6PM

If you live in Port Angeles and are concerned about the proposal by Nippon to build a biomass electrical generation facility at their plant, now is the time to come out and hear the latest, get updated, and express your concerns, if you have them.

The meeting will be held at the City Council Chambers, 321 E. Fifth St. is the public notice. It seems like the only consideration at this meeting is to allow it to have a height variance…? Or is this just one item to be discussed?

The biggest concern I’ve heard is that the assumptions of biomass fuel availability  do not match up with demand from the facilities. Apparently, according to the EIS by Nippon,  the requirement for the biomass facility is 90,000 bone dry tons (BDT) and the current slash volume burned in Clallam county is only 30,000 BDT. Add to that the demand from the Port Townsend mill biomass project (some will have to come from Clallam because much of the pulp today comes from Clallam), and there is an apparent need to harvest a great deal more trees on the Olympic Peninsula than we are today. This is not addressed by Nippon in their EIS, but  punted to DNR. I have not heard of a response to this from DNR at this point. It seems a major issue worth addressing. Do they expect to harvest 3 times the trees (or more) to feed the electrical generation demands of Nippon and PT Paper?  Is this all really carbon neutral? Or is this simply a way to allow industry to neutralize their costs of electrical generation? I don’t know the answer, and am unsure who does at this point, as this is all very experimental.  I don’t doubt it will create much needed jobs here. I don’t doubt that it will generate electricity, and I don’t clearly understand if the community benefits from that at all (they are stating they will sell the electricity to Bonneville, which means that this will be sold to California, which has never been in doubt). Does Port Angeles or Port Townsend really benefit from the generation of electricity at these plants, other than a few jobs? It’s really not clear at this point. But what is clear, is that it appears they will need to cut way more wood to make this work.

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  1. Find out more information on Biomass Energy
    or download our Biomass Fact Sheet.

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