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.