Wood Pellet Plant
The Calpella Wood Pellet Plant has been in operation for about two years. It was first suggested that the wood pellet plant would use waste from our lumber mills and logging (slash) to process into wood pellets for sale.
A meeting of one County Supervisor and the County CEO and, presumably, an employee of Mendocino Forest Products resulted in the immediate approval of the plant’s operation without any public notification. All that was required for a building permit issuance from the County Planning Department was forwarding a Notice to the Air Quality Management District and the County Environmental Health Agency that the project was going forward. Timber interests are protected under an industry-friendly 1987 zoning ordinance that states that timber related operations are allowed without public notification.
The plant began to increase its production at some point in the last year and attracted the notice of local residents who wondered about its air quality safety. Requests for information from the public have not been forthcoming. Five months later the information has still not been provided because of a stated concern that trade secrets must not be divulged.
Air quality monitoring had been done initially with the result that additional air filtering was required in order to reduce the particulate matter from the plant. Minimal subsequent testing seems to have been done, but that data is not available to date.
Wood pellet plants in the United States have been operating at full speed since there is a large market for wood pellets in other countries with the result that this lucrative product is being shipped all over the world. While the original concept for wood pellet plants was one of using timber slash now small trees are being used. No quantification of the dimensions are for a ‘small tree’ are available to the public and there is concern that small trees do need to grow into order to have larger trees.
There is significant concern in the community about the particulate matter, most especially now during the pandemic that severely affects human respiratory systems. There are elementary schools, a Tribal Health Clinic, vineyards and many residences in the vicinity of the wood pellet plant, all endangered by the particulate matter emanating from the plant.
Links: Bad-Business-Web.pdf Biomass-Sustainability-Standards-Briefing.pdf CA_Public_Records_Act_request.docx CA_Public_Records_Act_request_2.docx Intertribal_Sinkyone_wilderness_Council_Resolution_in_Opposition_to_the_Calpella_wood_pellet_plant.docx Photo_of_emission_from_wood_pellet_plant.docx Press_Release_from_SEIJ_on_Mendocino_Forest_Product_s_Wood_Pellet_Plant_pollution.docx Research_why_there_was_no_EIR_required_for_the_wood_pellet_making_plant.docx Update_memo_on_Coyote_Valley_and_SEIJ_s_investigation_of_the_Mendocino_Forest_Product_s_Calpella_wood_pellet_plant_pollution.docx Update_on_investigation_of_Mendocino_Forest_Product_s_Calpella_Wood_Pellet_Making_Plant.docx Wood_Pellet_Plant_s_Environmental_Impacts.docx Zoning_Code_provisions_used_by_the_County_to_require_no_environmental_review_of_the_MFP_wood_pellet_making_plant_.docx External Links: https://projects.iq.harvard.edu/files/covid-pm/files/pm_and_covid_mortality.pdf https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zk11vI-7czE https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2020/04/09/18832203.php https://www.environmentalintegrity.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Biomass-Report.pdf https://www.biofuelwatch.org.uk/ https://archives.kpfa.org/data/20200403-Fri1400.mp3