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Roseburg Biomass Project, CA

STATUS: In progress with opposition; prolonged delay

TYPE: Biomass

OPPOSITION: The Mount Shasta Bioregional Ecology Center; Weed Concerned Citizens

PROSPECTS: Indeterminate

BACKGROUND:  Roseburg Forest Products owns 186,000 acres of north state timberland and has run a mill there for 25 years. To maximize power production, Roseburg announced plans to construct a $15.5 million, 15-megawatt biomass cogeneration plant.

The Siskiyou County Planning Commission approved Roseburg's plans in September 2008 and denied an appeal to that decision brought by the environmental groups opposing the project, stating that “Not only is this facility consistent with the Governor’s desire to develop renewable energy resources, but it is also essential for the continued economic vitality of the County of Siskiyou.”

The Mount Shasta Bioregional Ecology Center and Weed Concerned Citizens, the groups opposing the project, claim that they are not trying to stop the project, but improve it, stating that “the project’s plan as is would sully the air and create noise pollution.”

After the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors denied the appeal, the two environmental groups sued alleging that that the supervisors’ actions violated the California Environmental Quality Act.  As of September 2010, the case was awaiting final decision in the Third District Court of Appeals in Sacramento.  In February 2010, Judge Francis Barclay denied a petition for a writ of mandate to have the Environmental Impact Review for the project redone, with the petitioners claiming that the review had been inadequate, including the claim that the document did not require the best available technology for reducing nitrous oxide, among other issues.

Henson said his company has spent over $12 million to get where they are concerning the cogeneration plant and another $700,000 on Environmental Impact Report compliance. “We’ve done what we have been asked to do. This is how businesses are killed in this county. The timber industry is under siege and we have to click on all cylinders to survive.” 

SOURCES: Redding Record Searchlight: http://m.redding.com/news/2009/jan/09/roseburg-blames-environmental-suit-for-layoffs/;
Siskiyou Daily News: http://www.siskiyoudaily.com/news/x1060501669/Groups-file-suit-against-Roseburg-biomass-project;
Mount Shasta Area Newspapers: http://www.mtshastanews.com/opinions/x188765408/Four-resource-professionals-state-case-for-biomass-project;
RISI Wood Biomass Markets: http://www.woodbiomass.com/woodbiomass/news/North-America/Wood-Energy/Roseburg-CA-wood-energy-biomass-lawsuit.html
Last updated November 9, 2010