Biomass remains hot topic in Valdosta -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Biomass remains hot topic in Valdosta

By Jade Bulecza - bio | email

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) –The proposed wiregrass biomass plant remains a hot topic in Valdosta.

The plant is scheduled to break ground next year. The industrial authority says it will have a huge impact on the economy but those against are concerned about the health risks associated with it.

A biomass plant is coming soon to Lowndes County.

"It's clean," said Brad Lofton of the Valdosta Lowndes County Industrial Authority. "It's green. It's renewable and we're committed as ever to move forward with creating green jobs for south Georgia."

The industrial authority says it don't see any health risks associated with the plant. The president of the Wiregrass Activists for Clean Energy disagrees.

"The pollution coming out of biomass incinerators may cause and will cause problems with your health there's no doubt about that," said Dr. Michael Noll with Wiregrass Activists for Clean Energy.

He says there're plenty of publications out there that say biomass is dirtier than coal. Lofton says it's benefit taking coal off the grid.

The 40 megawatt plant will be located here off of Highway 94 and Perimeter Road. It's expected to break ground next Spring.

Lofton says the plant would create 25 permanent jobs and 100 indirect jobs. It would burn wood waste and sludge. And used treated water from the wastewater plant next door for cooling purposes.

Lofton says the plant will increase the taxpayer base and save the City of Valdosta nearly $250,000 a year in paying to remove sludge and landfill it.

The meeting is at 7:30 Monday at the Rainwater Conference Center on Norman Drive.

Information from Industrial Authority:

The Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority will host a panel discussion and information exchange concerning the planning, development, construction and operation of the Wiregrass Power, LLC Biomass Electric Generating Plant.

A neutral moderator will facilitate the information exchange between the panel of Subject Matter Experts and the community citizens attending the event. The panel will be comprised of Subject Matter Experts in the following areas:

  1. „h biomass renewable sustainable energy production.
  2. „h air emissions, air quality permitting and air emission control devices.
  3. „h key process equipment/technology used to generate electricity with biomass.
  4. „h forestry/silviculture operations relating to biomass fuel supply.
  5. „h potential for biomass electric generating plants to negatively impact the health of community citizens. 


Gilbert Waldman

Vice President & General Manager

Sterling Energy Assets, Inc.

  1. „h Biomass renewable/sustainable energy production
  2. „h Wiregrass Power , LLC Biomass Electric Generating Plant key process equipment/technology/operations

Robert C. McCann, Jr.

Principle and Director, Air Resources

Golder Asssociates, Inc.

  1. „h Wiregrass Power, LLC Air Quality Permit, air emissions and air emission control devices

Dr. Christopher M. Teaf

President and Director of Toxicology

Hazardous Substance & Waste Management Research, Inc

  1. „h Development and review of site-specific toxicological evaluations relating to air emissions from Wiregrass Power, LLC in the context of environmental and public health considerations

Stan Parton


The Parton Group, Inc.

  1. „h Forestry/silviculture operations in support of Wiregrass Power, LLC

Dr. Clifford Lipscomb

Director, Economic Research

Greenfield Advisors, LLC

  1. „h Community and regional economic impact of Wiregrass Power, LLC construction and operations

Ferman Milster

Associate Utility Director

University of Iowa

  1. „h University of Iowa Biomass Fuel Project


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