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The effort to convert local forest waste into energy is getting kick-started by California timber company Sierra Pacific Industries, which has donated $1 million toward the effort.

The collaboration between private business and government is working to boost “biomass” energy, which also would help prevent catastrophic wildfires and improve health quality.

“Harvesting this material and using it for energy production rather than having it burn in the open by intentional or unintentional ignition significantly lessens air pollution impacts and yields a number of other overall environmental and public benefits” said Thomas J. Christofk, Placer County Air Pollution Control District Officer.

The idea is to transport forest thinnings to nearby biomass energy production facilities.

Presently, the Forest Service does not have the resources to transport the material from the forest to a plant so it is either burned, decomposes or would potentially burn in a wildfire.

Placer County Biomass Manager Brett Storey has been asked to develop a two-pronged approach: Find the right locations to capture the materials, and make the process economical.

A working group dealing with the issue has scheduled several meetings, and the group will reach an agreement on potential projects and direction in early December, with projects slated to be accomplished in the field potentially this year and certainly many more for the next several years.

— Sierra Sun

County supervisors to meet at Tahoe

The El Dorado County Board of Supervisors will meet in South Lake Tahoe on Tuesday.

Agenda items include a presentation by the U.S. Forest Service on the effectiveness of fuels treatments in relation to the Angora fire and a presentation by the county’s Environmental Health Department on a recent California state radon-screening study in the Tahoe basin.

The meeting is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. on Tuesday in the Tahoe Community College District Board Room, Room L104, One College Drive, South Lake Tahoe.

— Staff reports


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