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Hearing date set for discussion on proposed Oregon biomass plant

Community members of Klamath Falls and Keno in the US will get the chance to discuss their objections over a proposed new biomass plant set for construction by Klamath Falls Bioenergy (KFB).

The Oregon Department of Energy has released a notice of contested case proceedings and those opposed to the idea will be able to voice their concerns at a hearing in a court of law this September.

Vice president of KFB Bruce Thompson believes that, due to the length of the process and the chance the hearing’s findings could be appealed to the Oregon Supreme Court, production on the plant won’t start until the beginning of 2013 at the earliest.

‘This is pretty exciting. We’ve been waiting for this for over a year. The process takes a long time, but now we can see the light at the end of the tunnel,’ he adds.

The KFB biomass plant is expected to generate around 42MW from a wood-fired incinerator used to create steam to drive its turbines. It is hoped the plant would produce enough electricity to power 35,000 homes.

It is expected that a non-profit group called Save Our Rural Oregon will submit evidence for its claims that the plant will endanger local wildlife, decrease adjacent property values, harm local groundwater and increase the proliferation of damaging air pollutants in nearby neighbourhoods.