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Environmental groups challenge Nippon’s Planned Biomass Incinerator

This is a strong condemnation of the process that allowed these biomass incinerators to be built. The Seattle based No Biomass Burn is going so far as to charge criminal intent on the part of Nippon and the regulator’s by what they claim was purposely mistating the output of the incinerator. If true, this will be a dramatic case. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the courts.

Given the lack of desire by our representatives to stand up to these unproven technologies that have numerous unanswered questions, it is up to organizations like these below to help fight to assure the correct diligence is done. It’s our health that is at stake folks. This isn’t theoretical, we and our families will be breathing this output– Ed.

Regional Agency Throws Human Health Concerns to the Winds

Port Angeles,: Seven environmental groups filed an appeal today with Washington’s Pollution Control Hearings Board, challenging the recent decision of the Olympic Regional Clean Air Agency (ORCAA) to issue an air permit for the proposed Nippon biomass project. They are: Protect the Peninsula’s Future, North Olympic Group of the Sierra Club, Olympic Environmental Council, Olympic Forest Coalition, Port Townsend Air Watchers, World Temperate Rainforest Network, and No Biomass Burn.

“ORCAA failed in its assigned mission to protect our health and the health of the environment when it approved Nippon’s request for a permit,” said Bob Lynette, with the North Olympic Group of the Sierra Club, one of the groups joining the appeal.

“ORCAA did not even come close to requiring Nippon to use the best pollution control technology available, which means that all of the citizens on the north Olympic Peninsula will be subjected to excessive health risks.” he added. “It’s shameful that we citizens have to spend our own money to force an agency that is supposed to protect us to follow the laws and safeguard our health.”

It appears to us that ORCAA and Nippon have worked together to greatly understate the amount of toxic pollution the Nippon biomass project would emit. If allowed to stand, the drastically lower pollution estimates would let Nippon avoid more rigorous government regulations and more expensive and effective pollution controls.

Nippon already releases tons of hazardous air pollutants, including especially dangerous fine particles. Medical researchers are especially concerned about these nanoparticles, so tiny that they bypass the human body’s filtering systems, enter the blood stream and slip toxins through the placenta. Infants, pregnant women, those with chronic illness and the elderly are especially vulnerable. The amount of these fine particles released increases with the amount of wood burned. There is no substantive basis to Nippon’s claims about reducing emissions while thousands more tons of wood would be burned.

Toxic pollutants like cancer-causing dioxins land on farms and gardens, lawns and streams, rivers, marshes and tidelands, threatening the farms, fish, shellfish and forests that sustain the peninsula.

Pollutants released in Port Angeles carry many miles and will further diminish the already poor air quality in Seattle and other communities along the I-5 Corridor.

What’s more, additional dioxins will be added to our air by the doubling of truck trips bringing wood feedstock to Nippon’s plant on the Port Angeles waterfront.

The appellants are concerned with all aspects of air pollution, since, once airborne, pollutants become health hazards to human beings, animals, fresh and saltwater creatures by contaminating water and earth as well as the Earth’s atmosphere.


Local Sierra Club contact: Bob Lynette (360) 461-0761;

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