Posted by: James Maloy | December 31, 2009

An open letter to my community:

Below is a letter from one of our fellow Biomass Opponents submitted to local media outlets today:

My only child, Jamie is a 3 and a half year old asthmatic. Although the job opportunity that brought me to this area is located in the City of Tallahassee, my wife and I chose to move to Gadsden County six years ago and invest our life savings in a quiet beautiful parcel of land just outside the city limits of Gretna, a place that we have called home for almost 6 years. I share everyone’s concern about our local and national economies, and I understand that an announcement any community about hundreds of jobs and millions in tax revenue is indeed good news.

Since the project was announced, I have been educating myself about the proposed facility to be constructed by ADAGE, LLC that has been labeled as “Clean, Green and Renewable”. What I have learned since that day has left me completely disturbed. The play yard that I built for my asthmatic son is 1.9 miles from the proposed Gretna Biomass Incinerator. His pre-school is 3 miles away. Gretna Elementary is 1 mile away. There are 5 schools within 4 miles of this proposed facility. There is a prison directly across the street that has an inmate population of 1,541 women – over 1,300 of those women are of childbearing age.

I do not believe that any of our elected county, city officials or local leaders would knowingly place these citizens and their children at risk, but the seemingly unanimous political support leads me to believe that a well rounded presentation of the facts have not been presented to them.

Although the application for an air permit to construct for the 50MW Gretna Biomass Incinerator project has not yet been submitted by ADAGE, LLC to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection,  I have read both the initial and revised applications for their 50MW Hamilton County Biomass Incinerator currently under evaluation.

I have also read hundreds of pages of information provided to me by groups and individuals who have researched, gathered, and written the documentation that has been instrumental in forming recent regulatory and organizational opposition to Biomass Incinerators. I not only “feel” that this project “may be detrimental to our health”, I am “certain” of it.

Here are a few facts that have been left out of the discussion thus far:

“On October 14, 2009, the Hampden County Medical Society (MA) published formal opposition to the construction of the Russell (MA) 50 MW wood burning biomass plant on the grounds that it presents an unacceptable public health risk. Similarly, on July 14, 2006, the American Lung Association of Massachusetts stated “serious concerns” about the “significant impact of this project [Russell Biomass wood burning plant] on air quality”.  The Florida Medical Association issued Resolution 08-21 urging the State of Florida to adopt policies to minimize the approval of new incinerators such as biomass burners. The Oregon Chapter of the American Lung Association has also come out against biomass combustion, as has the Capital Regional Medical Association in Tallahassee, Florida . These are only some of the public statements from professionals around the country documenting biomass burning and renewable energy incinerators as a source of a new and growing public health threat.”

The most vulnerable among us are especially at risk. Our children, the elderly and those with already chronic health conditions will suffer the consequences and there is an overwhelming amount of scientific and medical research that factually supports this assertion and disputes many of the claims made in favor of Biomass Incinerators. I am “certain” that due to my son’s chronic respiratory condition, we will have to make a choice between remaining silent, being forced from our home and community or knowingly and willingly place my son’s life in jeopardy. I am “certain” that we are not the only family in this community who will be forced to make the same difficult decision.

I strongly urge you, our elected officials, local leaders, economic development organizations and every citizen in this county to take the time to educate yourselves before an irreversible error is made.

James E. Maloy, Jr

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Responses

  1. James,

    I am heartened to see your letter here. I believe that everyone on Watson Road and Eddie Blake Road is very negative about this proposed plant. Your letter makes many excellent points.

  2. James –
    Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Gadsden County can not afford to have such a devastating facility here, particularly as it could severely affect the health of the residents and impact property values (who would want to buy in an area that is full of smog and polluted?) Burning pressure treated wood is one of the worst, and the impact on the forests surrounding will ultimately lead to problems as well as it has been shown that clear cutting results from the location of the generator that is in constant need of feed…

    The risk to children is of greatest concern. Hopefully concerned citizens will stop this horrific proposal before the Bio-mass incinerator becomes a reality and impacts all of this area adversely. Please keep up the discussion and thank you for the informative letter.

    This bio mass thing looks like a great thing on paper, but it is a Trojan Horse!!! None of us in all of Gadsden County can afford this.

    • Mr. Lindquist – thank you for joining the conversation about BioMass Incineration in Gadsden County. While some BioMass Incinerators do burn various types of waste such as garbage, tires, construction debris, etc., the ADAGE / Hamiltion County Biomass Incinerator application for air permit specifically states “Clean Woody Biomass” and “Clean Construction Debris” which would not include the incineration of chemically treated wood.

      The problem, however is that enforcement of “Clean Construction Debris” is often left up to the operator of the facility and contractors providing the material to be incinerated. The DEP will not be there to test each truck to verify that all of the fuel is in fact “Clean”.

      • ADAGE is A Deadly Assault on Gadsden’s Essentials…air, water and land

  3. Thank you, James, for giving your time to research this issue. Certainly the welfare of our citizens’ health is the main concern and there is also concern for aesthetics which affects our minds and spirit.

    The proposed plant would be located almost directly across from my home and I am deeply saddened by this.

  4. James –
    I dream by night the horror that i oppose by day….a County Leadership in error, complacent and complicit, by degree destroying it communities, its lands, polluting its streams and ground waters and desecrating its air and insidiously, disregarding its sacred oath to protect the health and well being of the least of its citizens and to preserve its essential natural resources, upon which we and the future must depend. This dream, a nightmare of practice and policy.

    From the roots, this leadership dies upward, plundered and sold by purchased, remote powers. Leadership that dies from the head downward, marketed for the few, minute by comp plan minute, hour by policy hour, day by hidden secret day.

    The very future of our children sold and bought, legally and perhaps, illegally, like commodity….with a gnarled, clenched and forever shut fist around their greed which soon makes small this great, precious life…this place called Gadsden in the Florida Red Hills.

    So to all who still have a heart for this place, let them be now aware that the Concerned Citizens for Gadsden County will not stand idle to watch what is bright turn dull. Its citizen-based activism will be long-term, will be decidedly successful, will indeed be confrontational in its expression of the Truth and we shall not accept transfer of jurisdictional authority nor ” No We Can’t” as an answer.

    There will be no biomass incinerator in Gadsden County!

  5. After researching both sides of this argument, it seems clear that, in fact, a biomass incinerator is more hazardous than a coal plant ! It is also a certainty that residents of Gadsden County will be opposed to this project – the industry is simply not worth sacrificing our health, let alone property values and the destruction of our forests and wetlands.
    While it is positive that citizens are voicing their concerns, my family and I would like to know specific courses of action that need to be and can be taken (besides obvious calling representatives or congressmen…). What other individuals or organizations can be contacted to help in our efforts? In what ways can organized opposition be effective in stopping the development of this plant? Thank you for your help and support in this matter.

    • The next scheduled meeting of the Concerned Citizens of Gadsden County is on January 16, 2010 at 3:30 pm. The Concerned Citizens of Gadsden County are committed to opposing the Biomass Incinerator for Gretna, Florida. Specific courses of action will be discussed at the meeting. If you are interested in attending the next meeting or any future meeting, send an email to admin@biomess.us and they will provide you with the location information for the meetings and put you on the group’s email list-serve.

  6. […] “We had a thoroughly angry citizenry”, said James Maloy, president of Concerned Citizens of Gadsden County. “This is the single reason we beat ADAGE.” Here is a letter Maloy published on his blog site, December 31, 2009. http://floridiansagainstincineratorsindisguise.com/2009/12/31/an-open-letter-to-my-community/ […]


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