We Energies says they plan to work openly with the community, as they plan to build a biomass power plant at the Domtar paper mill site in Rothschild.
A spokesman with the utility says they’ve bent over backwards to be transparent and open with the community.
But some are still protesting their plans.
Thursday night about 150 community members gathered at the Rothschild Village Hall to address concerns with the plant going up in the village.
A flyer titled, "Biomass Plant: What They Are Not Telling You," was handed out.
Some citizens worry the giant plant will interfere with their quality of life and pollute the community.
They fear the plant will increase air pollution that will cause health hazards, and more semi-truck traffic on Bus. 51 will further increase pollutants.
Barry McNulty, a communication spokesperson with We Energies, says the total air emissions from the plant will decrease 30 percent.
And though sulfur and particulate matter will increase from what’s currently being released at Domtar, it will still fall under the amount alloted by state regulations.
"The new facility will comply with both federal and state regulations and it will meet standards that protect public health and welfare," McNulty said.
We Energies says they’ve answered every question asked of them by concerned citizens.
"We’re confident but we can only do it with the public’s consent. And we want people to be comfortable with the project and supportive," said McNulty.
He says they continue to go door-to-door to give information on the biomass plant, and that overall the response has been positive.
The project is expected to create 400 construction jobs and 150 new jobs in the transportation of biomass.
The issue is far from over.
The state Public Service Commission must meticulously go through We Energies and Domtar’s plan.
And the village too will have some say in whether the plant is built.
Posted by: Paul Location: Rothschild on Mar 26, 2010 at 10:36 PM
From what I understand there are many questions they can not answer at all, because this is the first one they have ever built.
Posted by: imbobim Location: up north on Mar 26, 2010 at 06:57 PM
I am very reluctant to accept the ‘safety’ issue of the plant. I do agree jobs would be created BUT would the safety of all residents be compromised during operations? More studies/finding should be required first!