Safe Energy  

Fibrowatt, LLC Poultry Waste Burners

In February 2012 Fibrowatt abandoned plans to build a $200 million plant near Biscoe in Montgomery County.

On May 17, 2010 Surry County Commissioners voted unanimously to stop negotiations with Fibrowatt. Fibrowatt had announced on June 5, 2008 that it would build a $140 million power plant near Elkin, NC.

On April 16, 2008 Fibrowatt LLC announced it had picked a 300-acre site in Sampson County, NC for the state's first power plant fueled by poultry waste. Sampson County is providing $2.5 million in financial incentives to Fibrowatt LLC. By 2013 plans to construct in Sampson County had not come to fruition.

Fibrowatt proposed to construct up to three poultry waste burners in North Carolina. Fibrowatt was targeting Wilkes, Surry and Alexander Counties for their first site in North Carolina.

Surry County Rejects Fibrowatt Incinerator

May 18, 2010

CACHE wins major victory! Surry County Commissioners voted Monday night to break off all negotiations with Fibrowatt and to immediately recruit another company for the site near Elkin, North Carolina. See the story below from the Mount Airy News.

The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League has campaigned since 2006 to stop Fibrowatt from locating in the Wilkes-Alexander-Surry County area. The Citizens Alliance for a Clean, Healthy Economy organized as a BREDL chapter in 2009 after Fibrowatt decided to build a 40-50 mega-watt incinerator near Elkin in Surry County.

Following the Commissioners’ unanimous vote, CACHE committed to follow through on their promise to find new economic opportunities for Surry County that will protect the community and preserve the County’s air and water. Members also vowed to assist communities in Sampson and Montgomery Counties where Fibrowatt has also announced intentions to locate.

Read Mt. Airy News May 17 article - County severs ties with Fibrowatt
Read Elkin Tribune May 19 article - Fibrowatt Finished Here

Op-ed: Questioning the delivery of next-stage electricity

April 24, 2010: Questioning the delivery of next-stage electricity - Op-ed by David Mickey in the Winston-Salem Journal

Page County Virginia Board of Supervisors says No to Fibrowatt

Citizens Applaud Court’s Rejection Of Sampson County’s Motion To Dismiss Fibrowatt Zoning Complaint

Feb. 17, 2010 (Clinton, NC) The members of Citizens for a Safe Environment, a chapter of the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, will proceed with their lawsuit against Sampson County following a Superior Court decision on Monday. In ruling against Sampson County’s motion to dismiss the group’s complaint, the court said that Citizens for a Safe Environment has sufficient standing, has provided evidence of both unlawful “spot zoning” and contract zoning, and that allegations of capricious and arbitrary actions by the county are sufficient for the case to move forward. Read BREDL Press Release

CACHE releases response regarding poultry litter set-aside

Jan. 9, 2010: CACHE (Citizensí Alliance for a Clean, Healthy Economy) today released their response to Surry County Commissioners Chairman Craig Hunterís rebuttal testimony to the North Carolina Utilities Commission opposing a request by Duke Power and Progress Energy to delay the poultry litter set-aside in General Statute 62-133-8 (f). Read CACHE Press Release

Fibrowatt Flunks Major Tests In Minnesota
League Challenges North Carolina Regulators and Calls for Hearings

Dec. 22, 2009: Today in letters mailed to state officials the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League challenged North Carolina’s environmental and utilities regulators to consider major permit violations at a poultry litter incinerator in Minnesota before allowing similar projects to proceed. The plant’s operator, Fibrowatt LLC, wants to build three more incinerators in North Carolina to burn poultry waste. A settlement agreement between Fibrowatt and the state of Minnesota was released to the League December 17.

BREDL Press Release | Settlement Agreement between Fibrowatt and Minnesota | Dec. 21, 2009 Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Press Release | Fibrominn Violations FAQ

League Files Motion to Delay Poultry Litter Incinerators

Sept. 3, 2009: In papers filed Wednesday with the North Carolina Utilities Commission, the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League and three of its community chapters moved to delay and modify a contentious provision of the state’s renewable energy law. Citizens for a Safe Environment (Duplin County), Citizens Alliance for a Clean Healthy Environment (Surry County), and Sampson County Citizens for a Safe Environment (Sampson County) joined the League in filing the motion. Their motion to intervene asks the Commission to indefinitely delay the use of poultry waste to generate electricity. The poultry waste requirement, or, “set-aside”, was included in the 2007 legislation adopting renewable energy standards for North Carolina.

BREDL Press Release | Community Groups Motion to Intervene | Community Groups Response

BREDL Sign-on Letter

Deadline for these sign-on letters was Midnight September 16, 2009. They were mailed on September 17, 2009. Thanks to all who signed.

BREDL Sign-on Letter Please sign on to our letter urging the North Carolina Utilities Commission to adopt a poultry waste " time-out " and make use of the opportunity to consider the implications of using poultry waste to generate electricity.

BREDL Sign-on Letter Please sign on to our letter urging NC GreenPower to remove the incineration of poultry litter and other types of litter from the green energy program.

Two recent Op-ed pieces about Fibrowatt by BREDL staff

June 13, 2009: Op-ed by Janet Marsh in the Mt. Airy News
June 26, 2009: Op-ed by David Mickey in The Sampson Independent

League Ups the Ante in Poultry Manure Incinerator Debate

May 26, 2009: Today in a letter to a powerful North Carolina legislator, the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League called for full disclosure of the violations and enforcement actions against the Fibrominn poultry manure incinerator in Benson, Minnesota. BREDL Press Release | May 26 letter to Rep. Pricey Harrison

League Urges Duke Shareholders to Reject Poultry Litter Incineration

May 7, 2009: Today at Duke Energy’s annual meeting in Charlotte, members of the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League asked shareholders to question the company about electricity from poultry waste. The group distributed a handout describing poultry litter as dirtier than coal, more expensive than wind, and litter incineration as an economic threat to farmers. BREDL Press Release | BREDL May 7 Handout at Duke Energy meeting

League Opens Fire on Fibrowatt

May 6, 2009: Today at a press conference in Elkin, the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League released a stunning report showing that the proposed Fibrowatt manure incinerator would deposit dangerous levels of poisons up to six miles from the plant site. The report concludes that the incinerator would contaminate the surrounding area with arsenic, chromium, mercury and other pollutants. More info: BREDL Press Release | BREDL Modeling Report | May 11 Forum Flyer

What would a Fibrowatt poultry litter incinerator in Surry County mean for air quality and public health?

Community forum with nationally recognized expert Stephen Lester, Science Director,
Center for Health, Environment and Justice
Monday May 11, 2009
7:00-8:30 PM

First United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall
340 Hawthorne Road, Elkin, North Carolina
Free and open to the public

View BREDL Event Flyer

Fib-rowatt Facts- It's time to tell the truth

April 2009: BREDL Factsheet on Fibrowatt's proposal to build three poultry waste incinerators in North Carolina.

BREDL Analysis

"Electric Power from Poultry Waste is Not Green...and Not Carbon Neutral" (posted April 2, 2009)

CSE Places Full Page Newspaper Ad Highlighting Problems With Burning Poultry Litter

Click to View Ad

Ad placed in March 15 Sampson Independent

March 18, 2009: Citizens for a Safe Environment of Eastern North Carolina (CSE), a BREDL chapter, placed a full-page ad in Sunday’s Sampson Independent. The group raised issues that have put their neighborhoods at risk.

Plans by a Pennsylvania company, Fibrowatt, to burn poultry litter to produce electricity, threatens the local agriculture economy, contributes to higher electricity rates, lowers property values, and has negative impacts on air quality.

Locating the plant near a minority community, and close to area schools and churches has raised issues of environmental justice and attracted the attention of the North Carolina NAACP and other groups. On Saturday NAACP President Rev. Dr. William Barber will address a rally against Fibrowatt in Clinton.

The Sampson newspaper ad highlights several of the problems associated with burning poultry litter:

• Sampson County is nationally ranked number one in agriculture and an incinerator is incompatible with the agricultural economy;
• Fibrowatt would receive millions in incentives, but residents will get higher electric bills while property values decline;
• Toxic emissions from burning poultry litter include dioxins, lead, and arsenic;
• A recent USA Today report found Sampson County schools already among the worst in the nation for toxic air pollution;
• Locating the plant near the Martin Luther King community unnecessarily increases their risk for toxic exposure “once Fibrowatt lights up”.

More info: View full-page ad

Citizens Take Legal Action To Stop Fibrowatt Poultry Manure Incinerator

Oct. 02, 2008: (Clinton, NC) On Tuesday Citizens for a Safe Environment took legal steps in Sampson County to reverse the commissioners’ decision to re-zone land near Faison. That decision allowed a poultry manure incinerator project to move forward. Fibrowatt proposes to build a plant on the site that would burn poultry manure. The complaint cites negative impacts to the neighboring African-American community, air and water pollution, and detrimental impacts to nearby organic farmers and the area’s farm economy. The Superior Court filing charges that the re-zoning is improper and invalid.
Read BREDL Press Release | Read October 03, 2008 Fayetteville Observer article Power plant foes are suing to pull plug


Aug. 2008: FibroWHAT? cartoon

Fibrowatt picks site in Surry

June 6, 2008: Fibrowatt announced on June 5, 2008 that it will build a $140 million power plant near Elkin, NC. Fibrowatt plans to begin construction in 2009 and would begin operating in Surry in 2011.

Op-ed: Sampson’s Incentives for Dirty

Op-ed by BREDL's David Mickey: Read Letter-to-the-Editor published May 9, 2008 in the Opinion Section of the Fayetteville Observer.

BREDL Fact Sheet

May 2008: BREDL Fact Sheet - Farmers, Fertilizer & Fibrowatt

BREDL Comments on Proposed Tax Incentives

April 22, 2008: BREDL comments on Sampson County’s proposed tax incentives for Fibrowatt LLC.

Poultry power is dirtier than coal

July 11, 2007: (revised March 2008) Poultry Litter versus Coal-fired Power Plants: An Air Pollution Comparison - The graph illustrates the negative air pollution impacts of power plants powered by poultry litter compared with boilers fired by coal. We compared emissions of particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and acid gases from a recently opened poultry waste power plant in Minnesota with the proposed expansion of Duke Energy’s Cliffside facility. The pollution data is taken from the state air permits for the two plants. We utilized heat input as a common denominator, the typical method for regulating electric generating plants in North Carolina, Minnesota and most other states.

BREDL Report on proposed Fibrowatt facility

July 12, 2006: Executive Director Janet Marsh Zeller's comments on the report: Fibrowatt's Thetford plant, in 2004, put out 234,430 kilograms (516,824 pounds) of carbon monoxide. I call these incinerators rather than power plants, because 50 megawatts is a tiny amount of power for what is lost. The amount of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide -- if this plant is similar to their Minnesota plant -- would be roughly similar to a coal plant. One disadvantage of burning poultry litter is the creation of air poisons not in the original materials. They are created in the smokestack itself. Fibrowatt's Thetford plant put out 30 milligrams of dioxins in 2004. We are going to see larger amounts if they build what they plan for North Carolina. If you dissect what they say -- hold on, here are details.
BREDL Report | Emissions Table

Fibrowatt LLC considering NC locations

March 21, 2006: Fibrowatt LLC is considering locations in North Carolina for a 50 MW plant that burns poultry litter. Burning poultry litter creates unnecessary pollution and is inconsistent with NC GreenPower’s mission to promote renewable energy while protecting the environment. Please sign on to our letter urging NC GreenPower to remove the incineration of poultry litter and other types of litter from the green energy program. BREDL Sign-on Letter | Fibrowatt Factsheet