Indiana Forest Alliance
Using wood as a fuel to supply electricity to the nation is not the panacea that some want it to be. There are major problems for both environmental and public health that people need to know about.
The public will have just such an opportunity on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2009l when Bill Sammons, M.D., will present a talk on biomass plants and their costs to the environment and public health at 7 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Bloomington, 2120 Fee Lane.
Dr. Sammons is a pediatrician who has practiced in Massachusetts and Vermont for 30 years. He became interested in biomass combustion about two years ago upon discovering that a proposed plant in Russell, Mass., had applied for a water permit that would allow water withdrawal that would literally dry out the river, one of his and his son's favorite fishing spots.
"Due to the commitment and dedication of the local participants and help from people from all over the United States, Concerned Citizens is successfully continuing its opposition to the biomass incinerator."
Since that time he has worked with community groups in Massachusetts, Indiana, Florida, Arkansas, North Carolina, Oregon, North Dakota, Georgia and Ohio. He was part of an effort that just succeeded in getting a question on the ballot in Massachusetts for 2010 that would effectively ban biomass combustion in the state. His testimony before that state's legislature recently was seen by many to be a major catalyst to MA DEP placing a year-long moratorium on awarding renewable energy credits to biomass plants.
Dr. Sammons has also been working in Washington, D.C., to have specific language incorporated in an energy bill that would limit tax subsidies and credits to biomass combustion to be proportional to measured reductions in stack emissions of CO2 in comparison to coal. As a partner in EcoLaw he is also working with the EPA to change its models and regulations regarding the "biomass loophole," which gives these plants unmerited preferential treatment.
Dr. Sammons will talk to the community about his experience and about the work being done in Indiana. This presentation is supported by Concerned Citizens of Crawford County, a group that opposes the first proposed biomass plant in Indiana.
The Concerned Citizens of Crawford County is a grassroots group that organized approximately a year ago. The group came together to oppose a biomass incinerator that is proposed to be built near Milltown, Ind. Milltown is a small, rural tourist community that sits along the spring-fed Blue River. The quaint town is home to Cave Country Canoes and Blue River Cafe as well as many other attractions.
Located near the proposed biomass incinerator is a four-star elementary school.
Due to the commitment and dedication of the local participants and help from people from all over the United States, Concerned Citizens is successfully continuing its opposition to the biomass incinerator. The organization is working to protect the pristine Blue River, a source of drinking water, and the health and safety of the community.
A similar presentation in Scott County last month drew over 300 people. Liberty Green Renewables, the company that wants to build the biomass plant in Milltown, has proposed a second plant in that county.
Indiana Forest Alliance is a co-sponsor of the event. Indiana Forest Alliance, a statewide coalition of individuals and groups, works to protect public lands from commercial interests, to promote sustainable forest practices and to promote the restoration of healthy forests throughout the state.
Rhonda Baird and the Indiana Forest Alliance can be reached at .
Concerned Citizens of Crawford County can be reached through Cara Jones at 812-365-2057.