Letter: Downtown wrong place for biomass

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The argument between the city of Vancouver and Clark County has been over the zoning of the biomass facility when the issue should be the “footprint” of the effluent from the biomass chimney, considering our prevailing southwest wind. The footprint is over residential, condo and apartments plus the county jail, courthouse and St. Paul Lutheran Church with its day care facility, not what I would call light industrial.

The county claims their facility would be carbon neutral, but when you burn fuel, the result is carbon dioxide regardless of the feedstock. To sequester that carbon burned daily would take 3,000 years. Cleanest is hydro, then wind, then natural gas. Biomass is really the same as coal.

Do we want to back in history 80 years when our electricity was generated by a biomass generation plant burning sawdust and heating all of downtown Portland with the resulting steam from a facility located in the area now under the Marquam Bridge? That plant created smog whenever we had an inversion. When Bonneville Power Administration came on line, it was closed.

It’s not where a facility is created, it’s where it spreads its pollution.

Hall Simons

Vancouver