Wood-burning power exemption opposed
COLUMBIA -- A Charleston-based conservation group has joined the fight against looser federal air pollution rules for plants that burn wood to make power.
The Coastal Conservation League, one of the state's largest environmental groups, says the federal government should not exempt biomass plants from pending carbon dioxide rules. The league last week joined an Aug. 15 lawsuit challenging the federal exemption to biomass plants, which are growing in popularity as alternative sources of energy.
"We should not be giving them a pass up front," said Ryan Black of the Conservation League.
The August lawsuit challenges a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency decision to exempt large biomass plants from carbon dioxide limits for the next three years.
The EPA says the matter needs more study before applying the rules to biomass plants.
Many biomass plants burn wood to make energy. South Carolina has 28 facilities that burn wood, according to a 2010 S.C. Energy Office report. At least seven more biomass facilities are proposed in the state, the league says. Boosters say biomass plants are solid sources of alternative energy.