– by Christine Powell, November 9, 2016, Law 360
Blue Lake Power (Shaun Walker)
Blue Lake Power LLC told a federal court on Tuesday that the Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe was attempting to derail and complicate a lawsuit by the federal government and an air quality district that accuses the company of violating the Clean Air Act at a California biomass-fired electricity plant.
The tribe has filed an intervenor complaint in the dispute, which was brought by the federal government and the North Coast Unified Air Quality Management District against BLP in February, seeking injunctive relief and civil penalties for alleged CAA violations at the plant.
But BLP argued that the tribe disregarded the court’s order allowing it to intervene in the case — an order that limited the claims the tribe could bring to those that paralleled the ones asserted by the agencies — by including in its intervenor complaint a request for a temporary restraining order.
– by Will Houston, November 18, 2016, Eureka Times Standard
Blue Lake Power (Shaun Walker)
When the Blue Lake biomass power plant opened in 1987, many in the community welcomed it as a new renewable energy source, but for some, that welcome seems to have worn thin.
“At the time, it was a good solution to our problems,” said Kit Mann, a 38-year Blue Lake resident. “And times have changed.”
The Blue Lake Rancheria recently intervened in a federal lawsuit against the 11-megawatt power plant, now owned by Blue Lake Power LLC, for alleged federal Clean Air Act violations. The tribe states the proposed settlement agreement in the case will not address pollution issues that have impacted the tribe for about 30 years. Meanwhile, Blue Lake residents are circulating a petition calling on the city council to revoke its property lease for the power plant at the earliest possibility.
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Despite its early and ongoing support for biomass energy, Blue Lake Rancheria, a federally recognized Native American Tribe based in Humboldt County, California (a 2015-16 White House Climate Action Champion) has intervened in a Clean Air Act enforcement action by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Justice against Blue Lake Power, a 12-megawatt biomass power facility located less than ½ mile from the Tribe.
On November 17, The Biomass Monitor spoke with Jana Ganion, Energy Director for Blue Lake Rancheria, who shared her concerns about the health impacts from particulate matter and other air pollution emissions from Blue Lake Power and biomass energy in general.
The Biomass Monitor conference calls are held the 3rd Thursday of every month. To get announcements go to thebiomassmonitor.org and subscribe to our free, monthly online journal investigating the whole story on bioenergy, biomass, and biofuels.
– by Jana Ganion, October 17, 2016, Business Wire
Blue Lake Power Biomass (Photo: California Agriculture Journal)
On Tuesday, October 11, 2016 the Federal District Court in San Francisco issued an order allowing the Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe to intervene in the Clean Air Act enforcement case currently pending against the Blue Lake Power biomass facility in Blue Lake, California. The Tribe has been opposed to any restart of the facility because of significant air pollution impacts on the Tribe’s members and the surrounding area.
Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe Energy Director, Jana Ganion, explained the impact the Blue Lake Power plant has had on the Tribe, “When the facility is operating our air quality suffers, and the community is directly and immediately affected. This area has not attained healthful air quality standards in general and we now know exposure to this type of air pollution causes acute and chronic health problems and premature deaths. And the toxic emissions from this plant not only affects humans, we are also very concerned about Mad River water quality, fisheries, endangered species, and other environmental impacts.”