A large majority of the supporters of the biomass project were union members that were anxious to get the construction work and the 24 permanent jobs that would be available at the end of construction, although there were some that didn't appreciate the idea of their children breathing extra pollution for the next 50 years.
One speaker in opposition stated he had asked Olympic Region Clean Air Authority how many permits they had refused on air quality issues. They couldn’t recall any.
He suspected the law requires ORCCA to solicit public input. They ran the announcement in Thurston County instead of Mason County where all the people live that will have to breathe the results of this project. It seemed we could talk about our COPD and heart problems, they would listen with sympathy, then approve the project to proceed.
California gets the electricity; we get 24 jobs, pollution and the heavy diesel truck traffic on our roads 24/7 to feed the plant.A representative presented a petition signed by every doctor practicing at Mason General. It read, “We are in opposition to the currently proposed biomass plant based on the grounds that these facilities pose unacceptable health risks.”
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I learned that the EPA has imposed a 3-year moratorium on building any biomass polluters until the health effects on the residents can be studied. This mandate takes affect in July. It seems ORCAA and the corporate interests are trying to jam this project through to beat the health study.