State Agency Sides With Nippon Paper On Biomass Energy Project

The Washington Pollution Control Hearings Board (PCHB) has sided with Nippon Paper Industries USA in a challenge from several environmental groups to its $71 million biomass energy project at its paper mill in Port Angeles, Wash. Green organizations are fighting biomass expansion projects at the Nippon mill in Port Angeles and the Port Townsend Paper […]

The Washington Pollution Control Hearings Board (PCHB) has sided with Nippon Paper Industries USA in a challenge from several environmental groups to its $71 million biomass energy project at its paper mill in Port Angeles, Wash.

Green organizations are fighting biomass expansion projects at the Nippon mill in Port Angeles and the Port Townsend Paper Corp. mill in nearby Port Townsend. In a summary judgment, the board ruled January 4 that the groups failed to prove the emissions calculations used by the agency were incorrect.

Last June seven groups appealed a construction permit for Nippon that was granted by the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency, claiming it was based on faulty data. Also, last June several groups filed an appeal of Port Townsend Paper’s $55 million biomass project to Thurston County Superior Court. That appeal challenges a review by the PCHB that sided with the mill and its biomass project that could produce up to 25 megawatts of power.

The expansion of Nippon’s facility, expected to be finished in April 2013, would produce up to 20 megawatts of electricity by burning leftover logging slash and residues produced at sawmills. The mill currently consumes 70,000 tons of wood fuel. The expansion would increase this consumption to 160,000 tons annually.

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