[NEWS] California Biomass Facility Under Fire from Tribe Over Pollution Violations
– by Will Houston, November 18, 2016, Eureka Times Standard
When the Blue Lake biomass power plant opened in 1987, many in the community welcomed it as a new renewable energy source, but for some, that welcome seems to have worn thin.
“At the time, it was a good solution to our problems,” said Kit Mann, a 38-year Blue Lake resident. “And times have changed.”
The Blue Lake Rancheria recently intervened in a federal lawsuit against the 11-megawatt power plant, now owned by Blue Lake Power LLC, for alleged federal Clean Air Act violations. The tribe states the proposed settlement agreement in the case will not address pollution issues that have impacted the tribe for about 30 years. Meanwhile, Blue Lake residents are circulating a petition calling on the city council to revoke its property lease for the power plant at the earliest possibility.
Requests for comment sent to Blue Lake Power LLC were not returned by Friday evening.
Blue Lake Rancheria Energy Director Jana Ganion said in a teleconference held by The Biomass Monitor that the Blue Lake biomass plant, which resides about a half-mile from the tribe’s land, has incurred hundreds of violations under the federal clean water and air acts.