The Rural Patriot

August 30, 2006

Ellicottville Co-Generation Plant Update

Filed under: Cattaraugus County — theruralpatriot @ 11:30 am

(Previous post:  Possible Laidlaw Co-Generation Plant To Be Discussed)

This past Monday evening, the Ellicottville Town Board held their monthly meeting. The first topic discussed was the proposed Laidlaw biomass plant. Although the below linked article states that about 50 local residents attended the meeting, my estimate is between 80-100. The topic received very little time on the agenda. Two motions regarding a final environmental impact study and determination of the zoning status of the existing facility were made and agreed upon.

This segment lasted but a few minutes; then the board moved on to other business. A large portion of the crowd left after that short segment. I gather that most of us expected to learn more, and were surprised when that didn’t happen. No one from Laidlaw spoke at the meeting.

I offer the following information from: Planners want more details on biomass plant

… concerns include: air inversions, especially in winter, which could trap pollutants in the valleys between the mountains; cooling water discharged to the village sewage treatment plant; and wood chip storage.

(Ellicottville Mayor Charles Coolidge:) “It’s a step backward,” he said. “The village used to be under a cloud of soot” from wood-burning industries.

Mayor Coolidge said he was aware of reports that the wood for the biomass plant — mostly pallets — will come from the New England area. He said he was concerned about contaminants that may have come in contact with the wood. There isn’t enough wood in this county to fuel the plant, he added.

I believe that most of the local residents do not desire having this plant in the area.  Will their voices be heard and their concerns be answered satisfactorily? Will Laidlaw be granted the OK for this plant? We shall see. The next town board meeting will be held on September 25. Maybe we will find out more information about this possible project then.

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