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Considering the Risks as well as the Facts


When considering to oppose or support the proposed biomass plant, it is absolutely necessary to not only look at the facts, but also at the risk factors. It is fact that the air emissions will be considerably lower than that of a coal burning plant, and will have a smaller carbon footprint. It is fact that it will bring some jobs to the county, and also a tremendous amount of truck traffic. The facts that we do not know are that of water emissions. Without LGR knowing where they will get their water, they are unable to release those facts. Being that water is the world's most valuable resource, the water facts are the most important facts to know.

The Concerned Citizens are not about "false information". They are pointing out risk factors. With any industrial plant, there are risk factors, and they should not be taken lightly. If you look at some of the sites and articles about other Biomass plants around the country, there have been some pretty scary accidents. That is not to say that those accidents will happen here, but nonetheless, we must be aware of them. If the plant in Burlington, VT accidentally contaminated the municipal water supply, it is something we have to consider as a risk. Just because other biomass plants later applied for permits to burn trash does not mean that LGR will. It is only another risk factor. What I believe to be a more immediate threat is clear cutting and clearing of the forest floor. That could have a negative effect on the health of our forests.

I have heard that LGR has challenged their engineers to lower the temperature of their wastewater. That is important because temperature determines how much oxygen the water can hold, which determines how much life the water can support. Municipal water has many additives that in high concentrations could negatively affect aquatic life, so it is necessary to know the amount of residues present in the discharge water. Again, they have to know where the water is coming from before they can even apply for permits. After talking with an IDEM offical, I understand that Whiskey Run will be considered as valuable as the Blue, and that drought times will be considered as well.

In this state of the world, renewable energy is our only hope. To say that the Concerned Citizens are against renewable energy is absolutely absurd. Of course environmental organizations support biomass power, but will they support a plant built in an area with such unique and diverse ecosystems and topographies? The Concerned Citizens are exactly that... concerned. Is it really worth the risk to jeopardize our streams and wells? The Blue River is the 2nd cleanest river in Indiana, and has been state designated as a scenic river with great ecological significance. Being that the Blue and Whiskey Run are considered low flow streams, they have less of a capacity to dilute and degrade wastes. Our karst system is one the largest in the U.S. Because the karst is a connected system , there is potential for widespread contamination if any part of the aquifer is polluted. So if any accidents do happen, it'll be an extremely difficult and expensive clean-up (if it can be cleaned up). We need conformation that if anything goes wrong that LGR will happily clean up the mess in a timely manner at their expense. The Blue River and the aquifers that support it are the life blood of Crawford County and it's 176 endangered, threatened, and rare species. The citizens feel that the chosen site is just too high risk.

Regardless of what happens, we can all know that I will be down there testing the water on a regular basis.

Kelly
May 20, 2009


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