BLUE RIDGE ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE LEAGUE
PO Box 88 ~
Glendale Springs, North Carolina 28629 ~ Phone
(336) 982-2691 ~ Fax (336) 982-2954 ~ Email:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FEBRUARY 18, 2014
Louis Zeller 336-982-2691
Rev. Willie Tomlin 706-829-1393
GROUP SAYS RURAL UTILITIES SERVICE MUST HOLD PUBLIC HEARING
OPPOSES WADLEY BIOMASS PLANT
Today the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League announced that, based on federal law, a public hearing must be held before the Rural Utilities Service moves in support of a proposed biomass power plant in Wadley. In comments submitted to Rural Utilities Service, the League detailed the hearing requirement and other problems presented by the proposed action.
According to federal regulations cited in the League’s letter, “Both RUS and the applicant shall have a notice published which announces a public scoping meeting is to be conducted, either in conjunction with the notice of intent or as a separate notice.” RUS is evaluating an application for federal loans submitted by North Star Jefferson to support a power plant burning used tires and wood waste.
Lou Zeller, Executive Director of the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, said, “Clearly, the law requires RUS to make every effort to involve the public in the environmental review process. And we believe that the holding of a public hearing in Wadley near the site of the proposed project is necessary to develop adequate information on the environmental impacts of the action.”
When Rev. Willie Tomlin, League Vice President and resident of Louisville, heard of the plan, he alerted the League. He said, “It does not make sense to install an air monitor near a school to see if contamination will affect the children. We already know that air pollution causes asthma and other problems for young people, and old people, too!” Tomlin agreed with Zeller’s assessment: “Burning tires for power is wrong in every way.”
On January 30, 2014, the US Department of Agriculture Rural Utilities Service published a notice of intent to prepare an environmental assessment for the North Star Jefferson Biomass Generation Station Project.