North Carolina Wood Pellet Plant Proposal Draws Concern

Proposals to expand the wood pellet industry in the county could generate millions of dollars and some new jobs. But at what cost, some in the county are wondering. On Tuesday, the Community of Lake James Inc. is hosting a meeting for the public to discuss the implications a possible wood pellet plant in Burke […]

Proposals to expand the wood pellet industry in the county could generate millions of dollars and some new jobs. But at what cost, some in the county are wondering.

On Tuesday, the Community of Lake James Inc. is hosting a meeting for the public to discuss the implications a possible wood pellet plant in Burke County could have on the lake and area residents. The nonprofit meeting will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the meeting room of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. The church is located at 1865 N. Powerhouse Road. The group has invited Emily Zucchino with the Dogwood Alliance in Asheville to address concerns/issues. Dogwood defends the forests and communities of the southern U.S. from industrial forestry, according to information from the Community of Lake James.

George Johnson, president of Lake James Environmental Association, said in early October that he learned of a wood pellet manufacturing facility being proposed for Burke County near a wood chip mill on Bridgewater Road. In an email, Johnson said the proposed pellet plant could have implications for the Lake James watershed.

According to a feasibility study from Verdanté BioEnergy Services on biomass depot/processing facilities in the western piedmont of North Carolina, Burke County is one of the counties identified for a possible facility. The study is dated March 2014.

The Burke County facility would convert the biomass chips into pellets for sale on the commodities market in either the state or U.S. with the potential of exporting internationally, the study says. Pellets can be used to burn to produce heat or power and also can be used in customized “feedstock blends using various inputs per an industrial specification based on performance,” the study says.

From The News Herald: http://www.morganton.com/news/proposal-of-bringing-wood-pellet-plant-to-burke-county-draws/article_bc172f30-8065-11e5-b60c-9fcfd80b211f.html

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