PO Box 88 ~ Glendale Springs, North Carolina 28629 ~ Phone (336) 982-2691 ~ Fax (336) 982-2954 ~ Email:


For Immediate Release
September 3, 2009

David Mickey (336) 624-2412
Janet Marsh (336) 982-2691
Sam Tesh (336) 366-2980
Deborah Kornegay, 919-738-1325

League Files Motion to Delay Poultry Litter Incinerators

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.

On August 14, North Carolina’s electric suppliers filed a motion for a one-year delay and a reduction of electricity from poultry waste from 900,000 megawatt hours to 300,000 megawatt hours. On August 31, the Utilities Commission set September 18 as the deadline for interested parties to submit comments.

“Our motion to intervene, if granted by the Commission, gives our communities a voice in a process that until now has been largely closed to the public,” said David Mickey, speaking for the League. “Our members are very supportive of renewable energy that is clean and affordable, but it must also be fair and protective of the people where the facilities are located. Energy from poultry waste incineration is neither clean, affordable, nor fair,” he added.

The League identified several reasons for a delay of the poultry waste requirements:

Expensive energy from poultry waste would displace cleaner energy from wind and solar;

The state’s utilities found themselves negotiating with a single “poultry waste monopoly” (Fibrowatt) and were unable to reach agreement on a reasonable contract for power;

The only potential provider, Fibrowatt, had not acquired necessary permits from regulatory agencies or certificates for public convenience and necessity from the Utilities Commission;

Preliminary studies by the Division of Air Quality found that electricity from poultry waste would produce more pollution than the equivalent power from a new coal-powered plant;

Regulations and permit limits for poultry waste incineration have not been adopted;

The company’s only operating poultry waste plant in the United States, Fibrominn, has an unresolved violation of its operating permit.

“Renewable energy is new territory for us here in North Carolina. It is in the public interest to make sure it is also clean, affordable and fair to everyone. We think the members of the Commission will agree,” Mickey concluded.


Community Groups Motion to Intervene | Community Groups Response