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Timber Harvesting Safety

Nippon Paper Defeats Biomass Boiler Appeal

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On April 17 it was announced that Washington State’s Shoreline Hearings Board had dismissed an appeal of Nippon Paper’s plans to build a biomass boiler associated with its newsprint mill at Port Angeles, Washington.  The appellants, including No Biomass Burn of Seattle and five other green groups, based their appeal mainly on alleged air-quality impacts but also on allegations that the harvest of the forest slash proposed as a component of its feedstock would harm forests.  Pending release of details of the Board’s decision, the appellants have not announced whether they will appeal; and in any case, Nippon is authorized to begin construction, provided (as expected) the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency approves its air emissions permit.

Apart from supplying steam to the Port Angeles mill, the project is expected to generate up to 20 megawatts of electrical power when it is completed in late 2012.  An almost identical list of appellants have challenged a proposed 24-megawatt biomass energy project proposed by the Port Townsend Paper Corporation in Port Townsend, Washington, with a hearing scheduled this June.