Concerns raised over plant possibly coming to Adel

Updated: Sep. 21, 2020 at 11:27 PM EDT
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ADEL, Ga. (WALB) - On Monday night, the Adel City Council took the first steps toward possibly allowing a wood pellet plant to be built in Adel.

A group opposed to the plant demonstrated before the council’s meeting.

The group against the Renewable Biomass Group coming to Adel picketed outside city hall.

The city council voted 3 to 2 to annex a 171-acre industrial park area in Cook County to City of Adel property. They then rezoned it as heavy industrial, which opens the door for their industrial authority to allow the wood pellet plant to be built.

Dr. Treva Gear led the group opposed to the plant, saying it will bring air pollution, truck traffic and excessive noise.

“And so, we are about to bring in this pollution and it’s going to be about one to two miles from our community, which you cannot contain air pollution, and particularly close to the African American community. Predominately, African American and low income, and that’s an environmental and justice issue,” said Gear.

However, Adel Mayor Buddy Duke said that is putting the cart before the horse.

On Monday, they annexed the industrial plant and rezoned it, but building the wood pellet plant was not voted on.

Still, the mayor said the plant leaders are impressive.

“If we didn’t feel like this company wasn’t environmentally sound, then we wouldn’t have a dog in the hunt with them. But they are following all the federal guidelines on sound and noise, emissions and environmental hazards that come about. They are following the guidelines set up by the federal government,” said Duke.

The opposing group said the plant will run 365 days a year, 24 hours a day and the pollution and noise will not be worth the economic gains.

The mayor said the wood pellet plant would be a $70 million investment in the community and would bring 70 to 90 jobs to the area.

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