Category Archives: violations

[NEWS] California Biomass Facility Says Tribe Trying to Derail Clean Air Act Lawsuit

– by Christine Powell, November 9, 2016, Law 360

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Blue Lake Power (Shaun Walker)

Blue Lake Power LLC told a federal court on Tuesday that the Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe was attempting to derail and complicate a lawsuit by the federal government and an air quality district that accuses the company of violating the Clean Air Act at a California biomass-fired electricity plant.

The tribe has filed an intervenor complaint in the dispute, which was brought by the federal government and the North Coast Unified Air Quality Management District against BLP in February, seeking injunctive relief and civil penalties for alleged CAA violations at the plant.

But BLP argued that the tribe disregarded the court’s order allowing it to intervene in the case — an order that limited the claims the tribe could bring to those that paralleled the ones asserted by the agencies — by including in its intervenor complaint a request for a temporary restraining order.

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[NEWS] California Biomass Facility Under Fire from Tribe Over Pollution Violations

– by Will Houston, November 18, 2016, Eureka Times Standard

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Blue Lake Power (Shaun Walker)

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.

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[NEWS] South Dakota Ethanol Refinery Cited for Safety Violations After Worker’s Death

– November 3, 2016, CBS Minnesota

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POET biorefining (Photo: POET)

Federal investigators have found multiple safety violations at a South Dakota ethanol refinery expansion project following the death of a worker in May.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says it cited the worker’s employer, North Dakota-based Bilfinger-Westcon, with five major safety violations.

Investigators found the 38-year-old pipefitter was removing a vent line May 6 when 190-proof ethanol spilled onto him, flowed through a grated floor and was ignited by welding operations on a lower floor. The fire engulfed the man.

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[NEWS] Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe Intervenes in Action Against California Biomass Facility

– by Jana Ganion, October 17, 2016, Business Wire

California Agriculture journal, July - September 2015, Volume 69 number 3.

Blue Lake Power Biomass (Photo: California Agriculture Journal)

On Tuesday, October 11, 2016 the Federal District Court in San Francisco issued an order allowing the Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe to intervene in the Clean Air Act enforcement case currently pending against the Blue Lake Power biomass facility in Blue Lake, California. The Tribe has been opposed to any restart of the facility because of significant air pollution impacts on the Tribe’s members and the surrounding area.

Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe Energy Director, Jana Ganion, explained the impact the Blue Lake Power plant has had on the Tribe, “When the facility is operating our air quality suffers, and the community is directly and immediately affected. This area has not attained healthful air quality standards in general and we now know exposure to this type of air pollution causes acute and chronic health problems and premature deaths. And the toxic emissions from this plant not only affects humans, we are also very concerned about Mad River water quality, fisheries, endangered species, and other environmental impacts.”

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[NEWS] Detroit Incinerator Faces Lawsuit Over Emissions

– by Jim Lynch, October 18, 2016, Detroit News

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Detroit Renewable Power (Photo: Brandy Baker / Detroit News)

The Detroit incinerator, long controversial for its burning of the city’s waste, is being targeted by a lawsuit that claims the facility repeatedly fails to meet safe air emission standards.

Officials with the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center filed a notice of intent to sue incinerator operator Detroit Renewable Power. Like previous owners of the facility, the company takes in thousands of tons of trash each day for incineration.

The incineration produces steam and electricity that Detroit Renewable Power sells to DTE Energy. The process also produces air emissions that are considered harmful to the public.

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[NEWS] Study: Biomass Power Plants Affect Health

– by Poungchompoo Prasert, October 13, 2016, The Nation

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Thai biomass power facility (Photo: Meidensha Corporation)

A recent study on health risks from biomass power plants in Surin province has confirmed that nearby residents are being exposed to tiny dust particles in amounts that exceed the level recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Now authorities have been urged to come up with measures to lessen the health impact.

Sukanda Padpadee, an expert from the Department of Health’s Health Impact Assessment Division, presented her study on exposure to air pollution from the plant during the Public Health Ministry’s annual academic conference last month.

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[NEWS] Hydrogen Chloride Violation and Dust Nuisance at Michigan Biomass Facility

– September 7, 2016, ABC 10 News

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L’Anse Warden, MI biomass facility (Photo: wnmufm.org)

A public hearing was held this evening addressing the Warden Power Plant in L’Anse requesting to change the mix of biofuel it currently uses to produce electrical power.

Two non-compliance issues have recently arose at the plant. After an inspection, the plant was found to be in violation of the hydrogen-chloride limit and after more than 60 complaints from L’Anse residents, a nuisance dust violation was also found.

“The citizens called and complained to us and we went out and investigated and we found wood dust on their property, on their vehicles so it was basically creating a nuisance for the neighbors and they were concerned about their health also,” said DEQ Air Quality Division, Chris Hare.

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