CCRC and Dogwood Alliance speak out on wood pellet plant

And Richmond County's draconian public comment rules:

The group had come to last month’s meeting to voice concerns about the Enviva plant, but were denied because of the county’s public comment policy, which states that speakers must sign up with the the board’s clerk the Friday prior to the monthly meeting.

Kim McCall, secretary of the group, said she and Debra David attempted to do so this month, but were again denied because Enviva was on the agenda. The public comment policy — which county officials said has been in place since 1997 — also does not allow for comment for an item on the agenda. McCall calls not being allowed to speak an “injustice.”

These County Commissioners might think they're being clever, but they're about to get a hell of a lot more exposure than they imagined, and not the good kind, either. Here's a few words from Emily Zucchino, fighting the good fight for the Dogwood Alliance:

Emily Zucchino, a campaign organizer with Asheville-based Dogwood Alliance, said she has worked with community members at every Enviva plant in the state.

“The residents living by these plants tell me they have seen not one single positive impact from these plants,” she said. “Instead, they have suffered from dust and noise pollution, health problems, increased logging, dangerous truck traffic and have seen no economic benefits.”

Zucchino added that the wood pellet industry is so new that the environment impacts aren’t known, and said science is showing that it is not green energy — and worse than fossil fuels.

She said the information wasn’t known when the plant was first announced, but now that it’s out there, CCRC is organizing to try to stop the plant.

Folks, you need to start attending your County Commissioner's meetings, in addition to City Council stuff. Except for metro areas, the County controls vast sums of taxpayer dollars compared to towns, and in many cases, hundreds (if not thousands) of acres of public property. I attended one a few weeks ago, and something that wasn't on the agenda popped up and had my radar spinning. The county had (apparently) put some land up for bidding, not to sell the land, but to sell the trees on it. Clear-cutting public property, to be specific. And apparently somebody came up with a good bid, a couple hundred thousand dollars, and everybody seemed very pleased. I'm still trying to find out the deets, so I'll get back with you. But I did not expect anything like that to happen during this meeting. Granted, I don't take the daily paper anymore, but I bet I'm not alone with that. Pay attention.