2010 April 20: WI Wausau: COLUMN: Stand up against the biomass plant

COLUMN: Stand up against
biomass plant

By Jeffrey Zibton • For the Wausau Daily Herald •
April 20, 2010

The pros and cons of the proposed Rothschild
biomass project seem pretty straight forward to me.

• Pollution. While the overall emissions from the
site will be reduced, particulate matter emissions
will more than double. Of all emissions, particulate
matter has the greatest impact on the surrounding
area because of its ability to settle out of the air. The
people affected by this the most are children, elderly
and people with respiratory illness.

• Jobs. I agree that our local economy is in
desperate need of more jobs. We Energies has
estimated that 150 new jobs will be created,
however, they were unable to tell us where these
jobs would be located and who they would be
provided by. (The estimates are based on indirectly
created jobs in the forestry industry.) We Energies
itself would be providing 25 to 35 new jobs. We are
not sure if these would be local, administrative or
managerial positions. The remaining jobs seem to
be somewhat of a mystery. We can assume the 75 to
80
trucks per day going into the plant would
provide many of these.

Positions that require a person owning a semi-
tractor and trailer and could possibly be based
outside of the area. The remaining 50 jobs could
possibly be loggers on the outskirts of the 75-mile-
radius requisition area.

These are hardly positions that will help our
displaced factory workers and welders from the
Wausau metro area.
 
• Energy Surplus. We currently have an energy
surplus in our area. We Energies, which will not
serve central Wisconsin, also has more capacity
than they need. Why should we have a
power plant
in our area providing unnecessary power for a
market hundreds of miles away? It makes as much
sense as putting my neighbor’s furnace in my
basement. To top things off, this surplus power will
be partially funded by tax credits funded by you and
me for the next 40 years.

• Scale. This monster will definitely not fit in with
the surrounding facility. The building will be more
than 11/2 times the height of any of the existing
buildings. The chimney will also be more than 11/2
times the height of the existing stacks and almost 4
times higher than the maximum height allowed by
local zoning. These will tower over the local
landscape and provide a great first impression for
all visitors traveling in on Interstate 39 or Highway
29.

If you are as concerned as I am, please contact your
Rothschild village officials and get involved with the
neighborhood residents standing up to this
incinerator.

Jeffrey Zibton is a reader from Rothschild.
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This entry was posted in UVWXYZ States = UT, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY = Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington State,West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming. Bookmark the permalink.

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