Neighbors want to vote on Shelton biomass facility

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by DREW MIKKELSEN / KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on August 3, 2010 at 1:20 PM

Updated Tuesday, Aug 3 at 5:22 PM

SHELTON, Wash. - Critics of a proposed biomass facility in Shelton presented thousands of signatures to Mason County Commissioners Tuesday, saying they want the project put to a public vote.

The plant, operated by Adage LLC, would create energy by burning wood debris. Critics have said the plant would harm the region's air quality and reduce property values of homes located near the proposed plant.

"It's going to be a noisy smoke stack no one wants to live next to," said Beth McBain, who lives in the Hiawatha development near the site. McBain presented what she said were 3,000 signatures to the commissioners.

Mason County Commissioner Lynda Ring-Erickson said she would talk to the county prosecutor to see if it could be put on the ballot. Commissioner Tim Sheldon said he was not in favor of a public vote. Commissioner Ross Gallagher did not attend Tuesday's meeting.

An Adage spokesperson said critics who believe the plant would harm the environment are wrong.

"We have designed a state-of-the-art facility that will meet and beat all air quality standards to protect public health," said spokesperson Tom DuPonty.

Before Adage can open the plant in 2013 as planned, it will need approval from Mason County and the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency. The county commissioners said if the plant meets the state's environmental standards, it likely will be built.

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