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Work delayed on one local biomass project, continues on another

December 26th, 2012 - 5:33am

PORT TOWNSEND, Wash. (AP) - Work on a $55 million biomass expansion project in Port Townsend has been delayed because of court appeals.

Port Townsend Paper Corp. says its biomass cogeneration plant won't be completed until 2014 or 2015. It was initially projected to be operating in April. The project would burn wood waste to generate about 24 megawatts of electricity.

Environmental groups sued to challenge a clean-air permit issued for the facility. A Thurston County judge rejected their appeal last June. The groups took a case to the state appeals court, which earlier this month referred the case to the state Supreme Court.

Company officials say the biomass plant would provide an important source of alternative energy. Opponents say the plant would increase pollution.

--- Meantime, work continues on a biomass plant in Port Angeles. Nippon Paper hopes to have its co-generation plant online by late next summer.

Earlier this month, the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency gave preliminary approval for a new cooling tower associated with the plant. It is believed to be one of the last permits needed before the plant can begin operating at the Port Angeles mill site.

ORCA will hold a public hearing on the permit January 14th at the Clallam County Courthouse.


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