Vail Daily letter: Regular occurrence
Omitted from coverage of the fire at the Gypsum biomass facility (“Fire ignites at Gypsum biomass power plant,” Dec. 18) is the fact that these blazes are regular occurrences, and the biomass industry has opposed tighter safety regulations, due to the added expense.
As of December 2014, fires and/or explosions have occurred at 25 biomass facilities, with documentation compiled at TheBiomassMonitor.org
Even when not on fire, biomass facilities emit disease-causing air pollutants, including particulate matter, volatile organic compounds and dioxin. Add to this equation the carbon dioxide emissions from cutting and burning trees for energy, and the forest and watershed impacts of logging, biomass energy takes a greater toll on public health and the environment than is typically reported.
Whether you’re a biomass booster or a biomass buster, it’s in all of our best interest to be transparent about the footprint of energy sources, so we can weigh the perceived benefits against the potential impacts.
Editor, The Biomass Monitor