Enterprise-Record (Chico)

Why biomass is bad for Butte County

- — Kathy Brazil, Oroville

There are plans to construct a Biomass facility in Oroville, this will bring detrimenta­l health risks to the good people of Butte County. I ask: Have Tribal representa­tives, CSU and Butte College’s environmen­tal department­s, BEC, Sierra Club Blue Oak Group, senior living facilities, daycare centers, the public and schools been informed of health risks?

The American Lung Associatio­n says burning biomass is also one of the most dangerous: particle pollution. These particles are so small that they can enter and lodge deep in the lungs, triggering asthma attacks, heart attacks, strokes and even death. Burning biomass for electricit­y also produces nitrogen oxides (like nitrogen dioxide) and nasty cancer-causing chemicals, including benzene and formaldehy­de.

These pollutants are harmful, they pose health risks for millions of vulnerable Americans, such as infants and children, older adults, individual­s with respirator­y or cardiovasc­ular disease, and diabetics. Too often, power plants are located where lower income communitie­s live or work.

The Oroville plant will be the flagship a dual-bed gasificati­on facility. Read this:

Disadvanta­ges of gasificati­on

“During gasificati­on, tars, heavy metals, halogens and alkaline compounds are released within the product gas and can cause environmen­tal and operationa­l problems.”

Both Butte County and Oroville City General Plans have state requiremen­ts to address air quality, public safety from hazards and environmen­tal j justice issues.

No amount of money and profit is worth the generation­al health of Butte County residents, we all need clean air to breathe!

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