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EPA rule may effect plans for new plant

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The company planning to build a wood-fueled power plant in Perry County is evaluating the impact of a new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulation for emissions from alternative fuels.

The EPA rule no longer distinguishes emissions from burning biomass, which includes waste from logging and crop residues, from emissions produced from burning of fossil fuels such as coal.

LG Biomass Missouri plans to construct a $120 million facility called the Perryville Renewable Energy Center, adjacent to the Perryville Industrial Park, that will burn wood chips to produce electricity for about 23,000 homes. It is scheduled to be operational by 2013.

"We are still moving forward," said Jack Farley, a partner with LG Biomass Missouri. "The proposed EPA rule does cause concern. We are still evaluating exactly what the impact might be."

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources already awarded the company its emissions permits in May and construction on the new 32-megawatt power plant could begin later this year.

"We were surprised by the rule-making of the U.S. EPA since it is counter to all previous EPA policy, as well as inconsistent with the longstanding United Nations and European Union treatment of woody biomass," Farley said.

With the EPA's decision to include woody biomass in its Title V Greenhouse Gas Tailoring Rule, it is no longer recognizing this fuel as a renewable energy source, which it has traditionally been considered.

Wood fuel produces about 10 percent of the sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter of a conventional coal-fired boiler when producing the same amount of electricity, according to LG Biomass Missouri.

U.S. Rep. JoAnn Emerson spoke out against this new EPA regulation last week, calling it a "job-killing initiative."

The new Perryville facility would create 100 jobs during the two-year construction phase and another 25 full-time jobs once it is operational, Farley said.

"In Missouri, there is an enormous opportunity to use waste wood from our forests as a resource for efficient energy," Emerson said in a news release.

Emerson is investigating whether legislative action may be used to prevent this EPA regulation for woody biomass emissions from taking effect.

Selling wood products left over from logging is a growing revenue stream for Missouri's timber industry.

LG Biomass Missouri officials said they intend to spend $10 million annually to purchase fuel from area forresters.

Emerson said schools, municipalities and businesses throughout Missouri are already using or are in the process of installing boilers fueled by woody biomass. Several saw mills in the region already use wood fuel to fire their kilns.

Seven Missouri schools received grants to install wood-fueled boilers this year, including the Perry County School District, awarded $970,000 as part of the federal stimulus package.

mmiller@semissourian.com

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393 Highway V, Perryville, MO


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...and this surprises who?

The EPA doing a complete reversal on their previous policy is not shocking to me. It is to be expected that the Economic Prevention Agency will do anything it can to harm commerce and destroy the economy.

-- Posted by John in Jackson on Sun, Aug 22, 2010, at 9:07 AM

Actions like this make the EPA look totally out of touch and clueless. In their quest for power, the EPA ignores the security needs of the nation in achieving independence from foreign oil, and ignores the need for cheap sustainable energy in this fragile economy.

-- Posted by VIKED on Sun, Aug 22, 2010, at 9:52 AM

Whenever I attended the meeting in Perryville explaining this project, I went on KFVS-12 expressing support. What politician wouldn't encourage the introduction of a $120 Million project with 25 new full-time jobs? The plant is intended to help utilities comply with the state of Missouri's mandate to generate part of their power from solar, wind and biomass.

After the hearing I spoke with timber traders who expressed concern that the 45 semi-loads required daily to feed the plant could not be sustained by wood waste products alone. This would also require clear-cutting new growth and result in increased pricing on a waste product.

It is my current opinion that a better option would be to build this plant using natural gas instead of wood bio-mass. Our country has vast reserves of natural gas. At this hearing, we were told natural gas burns cleaner than coal or wood. Acquisition and transportation of fuel would be more efficient overall. The objectives of the Missouri mandate (cleaner air) would be better met.

I applaud Liberty Green Renewals for bringing this opportunity to Missouri and filling a niche our state requires. However, I fear this plant, once the effect of federal subsidies diminish, and the shortage of wood biomass raises prices, will also close down the way our corn ethanol and biodiesel plants have.

Larry Bill, Independent Conservative Candidate for Congress, 8th District, Missouri

Visit: http://larrybill.com/mr-bills-search-for...

-- Posted by nolimitsonthought on Sun, Aug 22, 2010, at 1:54 PM

The EPA is a monster.

-- Posted by We Regret To Inform U on Sun, Aug 22, 2010, at 9:13 PM

I'm concerned with the air quality near the plant. I get very congested and sick when I am near burning wood or leaves. Will the air quality be poor?

-- Posted by showmegirl on Sun, Aug 22, 2010, at 10:57 PM

I heard that there are 20 more biomass plants are proposed for Missouri. This will pollute our water and air, devastate our forest, and make the general public ill, cause birth defects and raise cancer, heart disease, respiratory problems, and infant mortality rates. In Florida they went from 3% across the board statewide to an infant mortality of 15.2% (there was no difference in black or white infants same rate) where the biomass plant was up and running. That's 5 times the state average. The particulate matter and CO2's, SO2's and NO2's are responsible. Missouri residents need to wake up before it's too late. Our Politicains both local and state reps need to be replaced whether they are Republican or Democrat. They had our air standards lowered to accomodate these biomass plants. They are actually major not minor polluters that's why they lowered the standards or had them done away with. Right now they care more about the almighty buck and less about citizens that live near or around these monsterousities. In Perryville the amount of permanent full time jobs for citizens without biomass experience or training will amount to 2 to 3 jobs (that's a janitor or maintenance man, the rest you need 5 years biomass and/or 2 years training. It's definitely not worth 40 Million in stimulus money or the other grants and tax abatements they'll receive. What a rip off of the American taxpayer. They'll be happy to poison us for a buck. They've done it in other states why stop here. Also once the forest are gone you can't buy one off the internet. Stand up for yourselves. Fight this injustice.

-- Posted by veryconcernedwoman on Fri, Sep 3, 2010, at 1:51 PM


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