Adel wood pellet plant sourcing radius: entire Suwannee River basin in Georgia 2020-09-08

Update 2020-09-11: Wood pellet plant: speakers and documents @ Adel City Council 2020-09-08.

Update 2020-09-08: Adel agenda and WWALS letter 2020-09-08

If a company from Houston, Texas, gets its rezoning Tuesday at the Adel, Georgia, City Council, it could take trees from 75 miles around to turn into wood pellets to ship to Europe for burning for electricity. It takes 50 to 100 years for natural forest to regenerate completely. Meanwhile, rain on land without forest runs off faster, carries more sediment and pollution (pesticides, E. coli, etc.), damaging fishing and wildlife. Floods also become more likely.

You can help stop this biomass plant. Before 5:30 PM Tuesday, please, which is when the Adel City Council has this rezoning on its agenda.

[Adel, GA, pellet plant sourcing radius]
Adel, GA, pellet plant sourcing radius (PDF)

That 75-mile sourcing radius around Adel would reach Tallahassee, Florida, and Albany, Georgia, as well as all of the Red Hills longleaf area around Thomasville. It would include all the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia: the Suwannee, Alapaha, Little, Withlacoochee, and Okapilco Rivers, from Fargo and most of the Okefenokee Swamp to Cordele in the north and Moultrie, Quitman, and Valdosta. As well as much of the Suwannee River Basin in Florida, include White Springs, Live Oak, Mayo, Jasper, and Madison. Plus the Ochlockonee and Aucilla Rivers and much of the Flint River on the west, and on the east most of the Satilla River and a bend of the Altamaha River.

This is an environmental justice issue because the plant will go in an African-American part of town and poor people are typically most adversely affected by deforestation.

When a local activist alerted me a few months ago to a proposed biomass plant in Adel, I pointed them to Vicki Weeks of the Dogwood Alliance. She has put together an Action Alert. Please follow that link to send your comment to the entire Adel City Council.

According to K.K. Synder, Georgia Trend, 31 July 2020, Adel | Cook County: Community in Motion,

Houston-based Renewable Biomass Group will construct a $95-million wood pellet facility in Adel, initially creating 60 new jobs. Founder and CEO Craig Whitlock says its 18-month plan to be fully operational begins with breaking ground later this year. The facility will produce biomass pellets for export to Europe and Asia, where electrical utilities will use the pellets to stoke retrofitted coal-fired power plants or in combination with coal for co-firing.

Every polluting industry claims it will create jobs. Most of them don’t, really. And even if this one did, are 60 new jobs worth damaging entire ecosystems?

So if you like fishing, swimming, boating, or unpolluted wells near our rivers, please use this Dogwood Alliance Action Alert.

If you want to attend in person, the location is:
Adel City Hall, 112 N Parrish Ave, Adel, GA 31620

If you want to speak, please be aware that speakers for and against get 15 minutes total each. So please coordinate with other speakers or think of something new to say.

Meanwhile, please use this Dogwood Alliance Action Alert.

A decade ago I helped fight off a biomass plant proposed for Lowndes County, Georgia. This pellet plant is a bad idea for many of the same reasons. Plus, have you noticed the temperature outside lately, compared to previous years? 2020 is on course to being another record hotter year. Burning trees and putting still more carbon dioxide into the air is an even worse idea now than it was back then.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!