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Thursday, July 23, 2009 - 11:24am

Residents Voice Concerns About Appling Biomass

Updated: 5 years ago.
The proposed power plant near Baxley would turn the region's biomass into renewable energy. (Photo Freefoto.com)

Residents are making sure their voices are heard as a proposed power plant in Appling Co. goes through the regulatory process.

The proposed plant near Baxley would generate would turn the region's biomass -- in the form of wood chips from area foresters -- into renewable energy. It'll create about 40 new high-paying jobs. But area resident Gary Moore says, he's concerned about the impact on his neighborhood of tons of burning wood chips.

"They say, it's going to have a filter on it to filtrate this ash, but is that filter going to completely stop the ash from escaping?" Moore asks.

Altamaha Riverkeeper James Holland says, he's concerned about one-million-gallons-plus of water the plant will use daily.

A spokesman for Tucker-based Oglethorpe Power says, the plant's ash will be completely sequestered and much of the water used will be treated wastewater. The company hopes to begin the plant's construction in 2011.

Before it does so, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development Utilities Program has to detail how the proposed plant will impact the environment. An initial public comment period on the plant ended on Wednesday.

Corrections

Corrections: 
A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that the public comment period ended on Friday.