TAHOE CITY, Calif. — The public has until 5 p.m. on Sept. 10 to submit comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Report for the proposed biomass facility on Cabin Creek Road, off Highway 89 between Tahoe City and Truckee.
All comments received will be included in the final EIR, expected to be completed by early-to-mid November, said Gerry Haas, Placer County’s senior planner for the biomass project.
As of Thursday, a total of seven comments have been received, two of which were made at a public hearing on the draft EIR Thursday afternoon at the Granlibakken Resort in Tahoe City.
One was from Anne Grogan, who, speaking on behalf of Sierra Business Council, expressed concern over the facility’s potential impact on Truckee’s air quality.
“Sierra Business Council recognizes the enduring proactive efforts of the town of Truckee to improve air quality and comply with federal air quality standards,” she said. “Because the Cabin Creek biomass facility proposed has the potential to emit particulates, some of which will likely be carried on air currents into the town of Truckee, Sierra Business Council recommends that the operation of this facility should be tied to an assuring regular monitoring location at an appropriate location within the town of Truckee.
“Should air quality emissions from the biomass facility impact the town of Truckee’s ability to meet federal compliance standards, Sierra Business Council recommends a flexible facility management plan that would allow hours or days of operation at the biomass facility to match hours or days when emissions are less likely to make a negative impact on the town of Truckee and its ability to reach attainment of federal air quality standards.”
Alfred Bulf, of Nevada City, was the other person to comment. He offered a location suggestion and mentioned a way to cut down on transportation costs.
“There is some interest, but not as much as I thought there would be,” Haas said after the public hearing. “It’s OK. Usually, a lack of interest shows either because of apathy or it’s general acceptance of the project.”
The proposed project is a two-megawatt biomass facility that would utilize gasification technology to convert woody biomass gathered from area forests into energy at the Eastern Regional Materials Recovery Facility and Landfill.
The proposed facility would be located on a 3.7-acre site on the southernmost area of the property with an approximately 11,000 square-foot, two- story building to house power-generating and emissions-control equipment. Also included in the proposal is about a one-acre material storage area that would include a 7,000 square-foot open-air pole barn structure to allow materials to dry before being used in the energy generation process.
The Draft Environmental Impact can be viewed through the Placer County website at www.placer.ca.gov.