Dear Editor: The talk given to the Rotary Club by the Colbert biomass plant manager a month ago raised some concerns for me.

First was the assertion that the plant's emissions are continuously monitored by the federal EPA and the state EPD, and that crossties burnt at extreme heat lose their toxicity. If the "volatile organic compounds" are destroyed, then why have I smelled the stink of the plant five miles away in Comer? Is it odors from burning? Is it particulate matter from grinding the crossties into smaller pieces? Have any ties treated with chromate copper arsenate crept into those big piles at the plant? There are volatile organic compounds coming from somewhere.

Also, I’m alarmed that Dominion Power in Virginia was cited as a model for safe energy production. That company has one of the worst reputations in the country for polluting the environment, manipulating energy markets, and being unresponsive to citizen complaints. Since the year 2000, they have been fined, not millions, but over $1 billion for environmental violations. This year alone they were fined $14 million for engaging in a scheme that manipulated the energy markets in a three-state area. I hope the business ethics of Dominion Power have not surfaced in our corner of Georgia.

Sincerely,

Dena Chandler

Carlton

(2) comments

Virginia Moss

Wow, good information! It shows that when you start digging, which our county leaders must not have done, you find all kinds of red flags.

I attended the informational meeting last night presented by the Madison County Clean Power Coalition (madcocpc@gmail.com) where real scientific truths were presented in detail. There will be monthly meetings of this Coalition on the third Thursday of each month from 7pm to 8:30pm ongoing. I look forward to hearing from GRP regarding this information because I would like very much to keep them as good neighbors in Madison County, but the company's track record and attitude tells me they will more likely mislead, spin and maybe even lie. They say they can operate just fine on truly clean bio-fuel, making a profit. So why must they also turn to burning creosote soaked railroad ties?

I wonder if the railroad ties were the whole original reason to locate the two plants (Franklin and Madison Counties) here with the promise of clean bio-fuel, thinking that our rural communities would be unsophisticated enough to be bamboozled into letting them set up shop. Well, apparently there are a whole lot of very sophisticated, highly educated citizens here who would make better leaders than the ones sitting at the commission tables.

James Cline

Georgia Renewable Power and North Carolina Renewable Power are owned by Raymon Bean of Alabama. You can research the history of investments by Raymon Bean in the coal industry and other energy and mining operations. There is a history of damaging the environment and entering and leaving a community after causing considerable environmental impact. A related business of Mr. Bean is a controversial mining operation that threatens to pollute the ground water of the Okefenokee Swamp. Similar to Madison County, the commissioners in Charlton County agreed to let Twin Pines Minerals come in and do whatever they wanted. There obviously was very little consideration of this man's track record by the Madison County Commissioners. All of this information is easily researched by Secretary of State business registrations. I think the word "Carpetbagger" should be recycled and now has new meaning.

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