Category Archives: ash

[NEWS] California Biomass Company Ordered to Pay $4.2 Million for Dioxin in Ash

– May 5, 2017, Times Herald

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Photo: California Biomass Energy Alliance

A Yolo County biomass company was ordered Friday to pay a multi-million dollar penalty as result of civil settlement reached in an environmental protection action.

Woodland Biomass Power was sentenced by Yolo County Superior Court Judge Samuel McAdam to pay $4.22 million for penalties, costs and remediation.

The action was filed by district attorneys from Yolo, Solano and San Joaquin counties.

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[NEWS] Radioactive Fukushima Wood to Generate 20 Megawatts of Biomass Power

– by Brian Parkin, October 26, 2016, Bloomberg

Homes And Businesses In Fukushima As Five Year Anniversary Of Devastating Tsunami Approaches

Fukushima (Photo: Christopher Furlong)

Japan is turning to a small German company to generate power from timber irradiated by the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear meltdowns.

Closely held Entrade Energiesysteme AG will sell electricity from 400 of its container-sized biomass-to-power machines set up in Fukushima Prefecture, said the Dusseldorf-based company’s Chief Executive Officer Julien Uhlig. The devices will generate 20 megawatts of power by next year and function like a “biological battery” that kicks in when the sun descends on the the region’s solar panels, he said.

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[NEWS] Why Biomass Facilities Can’t Turn Pot into Energy

– by Hunter Creswell, October 20, 2016, Times Standard

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Photo: Green Man’s Page

Every year law enforcement seizes around 100,000 marijuana plants on average in Humboldt County and that plant matter could be turned into energy if it were feasible and efficient but right now it’s not.

Redwood Community Energy, the local community choice aggregation program ran by Redwood Coast Energy Authority, is set to roll out in May of next year using more local renewable energy including mainly biomass energy before developing more local solar and wind farms.

RCEA Executive Director Matthew Marshall earlier this week told the Rio Dell City Council about plans to procure a third of the county’s electricity from biomass plants, another third from hydroelectric plants and the last third from other sources. He added that at the beginning of the program, 10 percent to 20 percent of the biomass energy will be from local plants.

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[AUDIO] Intro to Bioenergy

CONFERENCE CALL AUDIO: Intro to Bioenergy (August 2016) 

We speak with Ken Starcher, co-author of the new book, “Introduction to Bioenergy,” which takes a close look at the procurement and generation of biomass power and heating, and liquid transportation biofuels, while examining environmental impacts

The Biomass Monitor conference calls are held the 3rd Thursday of every month. For the recording of this call and notice of future calls, go to thebiomassmonitor.org and subscribe to our free, monthly online journal investigating the whole story on bioenergy, biomass, and biofuels.

[NEWS] If a Tree Falls in the Forest, Should We Use It to Generate Electricity?

– by Meredith Fowlie, September 7, 2016, The Energy Collective

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Air curtain incinerator (Photo: Energy Collective)

Every summer vacation, we pack our tree-hugging family into the car and head for the Sierra Nevada mountains. In many respects, our trip this summer was just like any other year, complete with family bonding moments and awe-inspiring wilderness experiences:

But our 2016 photo album is not all happiness and light. This year, we saw an unprecedented number of stressed and dying trees. Forest roads were lined with piles of dead wood.

These pictures break a tree hugger’s heart. But they barely scratch the surface of what has been dubbed the worst epidemic of tree mortality in California’s modern history. According to CAL FIRE, over 66 million trees have died since 2010. And it’s not over yet.

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[AUDIO] Intro to Bioenergy

CONFERENCE CALL AUDIO: Intro to Bioenergy (August 2016) 

A 2015 Harris Poll found that 60% of Americans are unsure of the pros and cons of bioenergy. Making up 1/2 of all “renewable” energy in the U.S., it’s important for the public to educate itself on this prominent source of homegrown energy.

We speak with Ken Starcher, co-author of the new book, “Introduction to Bioenergy,” which takes a close look at the procurement and generation of biomass power and heating, and liquid transportation biofuels, while examining environmental impacts.

The Biomass Monitor conference calls are held the 3rd Thursday of every month. For the recording of this call and notice of future calls, go to thebiomassmonitor.org and subscribe to our free, monthly online journal investigating the whole story on bioenergy, biomass, and biofuels.

[OPINION] Massachusetts: The Hoax of Biomass and Modern Forestry

[Read the opposing view to this opinion piece, “Massachusetts: A Clear Path Forward for Biomass Energy,” by Evan Dell’Olio, Director, External and Regulatory Affairs, Roberts Energy Renewables] 

– by RG Cachat, Biochemist and Ecologist

The Commonwealth [of Massachusetts] is partnering with private landowners to create National pseudo-Forests, which are fronted as “conservation” while failing all tests of real-world conservation.

Forests owned by the State are being logged at drastic, nearly clear-cut levels and at unsustainable rates. The character of forests is being forced toward monocultures of pine and hemlock by suppressing succession to hardwoods. They are treated as plantations and their productivity is tracked, while vulnerable species studies are lacking. The State has seen the end of more than a dozen species in recent years with no change to tactics.

While billing the wholesale commercializing of public lands for resource extraction as “forest management” and “sustainable,” the state is creating habitats that suit only a small group of megafauna. The State is causing biodiversity crashes while touting biodiversity. Invasive plants are introduced and spread by creation of extremely disrupted habitats and logging roads. All species that are sensitive to repeated habitat change at extreme levels are threatened by state-sponsored pseudo-science.

Biomass is an appealing “easy out” for wasteful energy policies and land barons hungry for quick cash. This sweetheart deal for big landholders is sold as “carbon neutral,” when the facts show this to be a carbon hoax. Taxpayers are lured in by promises of cheap energy and reduced taxes on the myth that this practice is sustainable, or healthy for forests, people or the climate.

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[NEWS] Incinerator’s Request for More Landfill Space Sparks Environmental Protests

– by Katie Lannan, July 26, 2016, WWLP

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Photo: WWLP

Environmental advocates and Saugus residents on Tuesday presented state officials with a petition and letters opposing a landfill capacity expansion for the trash incinerator, pledging to fight instead for the facility’s closure.

Addressing reporters outside the building that houses the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, the group voiced concerns over potential environmental and community impacts of Wheelabrator Saugus’ request to expand its ash landfill.

Rep. RoseLee Vincent, a Revere Democrat whose district includes parts of Saugus, said the current fight against expansion of the landfill is the “first time ever that our voices are finally being heard.”

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[NEWS] Covanta Incinerator Exceeds Dioxin Limits

– by Stefanie Swinson, May 26, 2016, Durham Region

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Photo: Ryan Pfeiffer / Metroland

Covanta has failed another stack test at the incinerator it operates in Courtice.

The joint committee of the Region of Durham heard results today from Mirka Januszkiewicz, the director of waste management, regarding the Durham York Energy Centre’s most recent tests conducted between May 2-11.

The lab results show air emissions from boiler 1 exceeded limits of dioxins and furans.

The limit is a maximum of 60. Boiler 1 was tested at 818.

“That’s a shocking number to hear,” said Regional and Clarington Councillor Joe Neal during the joint committee meeting. “This is very concerning. I thought it might be 80.”

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[NEWS] Minnesota’s Battle Over the Benefits and Consequences of Trash Incineration

– by Arlene Karidis, April 27, 2016, Waste Dive

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Photo: Waste Dive

With its nine WTE plants, Minnesota has more facilities of this type than the rest of the Midwest combined, and they generate enough electricity to power 100,000 homes.

That’s a tremendous amount of renewable energy, but still there are trash-burning arguments on either side of the fence. With regard to incineration’s impact on recycling—a main debate in the two Minnesota scenarios—some argue that incineration is a chance to salvage recyclables that haulers dispose of. The Red Wing operation captures copper, steel, plastics, and other materials before shredding what’s left to be burned.

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