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BREAKING NEWS: Biomass plant coming to Clay County

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Brazil Times learned late Thursday evening BioEnergy Development Company, Fishers, has signed a letter of intent with an area utility company for the development and construction of a biomass electric generation plant.

The proposed plant will be located on a coal strip mine site in Clay County and expected to employ 25-30 full-time workers upon completion.

More information on this development is expected to be released sometime Friday.

The Brazil Times will update this story as information becomes available.

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Woo-hoo! More businesses coming to Clay County!

-- Posted by Civisi on Thu, Apr 16, 2009, at 9:10 PM

We need this...very exciting.

-- Posted by ADJ on Fri, Apr 17, 2009, at 5:22 AM

Whoa!!! Wake up people. BIO MASS is garbage, animal manure & human sewage. Do you want this hauled into Clay County from all over Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky plus many other states. We'll become a GIANT smelly, slimy dump. If you think Terre Haute smells wait till this happens.

-- Posted by Reviere on Fri, Apr 17, 2009, at 8:32 AM

I had to look up what a Biomass plant was. Before we get all excited, what will they be burning and what control will be established to ensure air quality?

Here is a pointer that explains the pro and cons.


-- Posted by localgal on Fri, Apr 17, 2009, at 8:37 AM

Send all the drug offenders there to work, I'm sure they'd be glad to hire them!!

-- Posted by ape1 on Fri, Apr 17, 2009, at 9:30 AM

First, great post localgal. Everyone should check her hyperlink out.

Second, biomass is organic material made from plants and animals. Burning biomass is not the only way to release its energy. Biomass can be converted to other usable forms of energy like methane gas or transportation fuels like ethanol and biodiesel.

Biomass fuels provide about 3 percent of the energy used in the United States. Using biomass for energy can cut back on waste and support agricultural products grown in the US.

Biomass can pollute the air when it is burned, though not as much as fossil fuels. Burning biomass fuels does not produce pollutants like sulfur that can cause acid rain. When burned, biomass does release carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. But when biomass crops are grown, a nearly equivalent amount of carbon dioxide is captured through photosynthesis.

People are going to have a vary of comments to make but remember the more jobs that are created in this county, and the greater Wabash Valley, we will see more hope instilled in individuals. Hope creates pride and pride creates greater self-esteem and therefore will reduce the drug abuse epidemic.

In regards to ape1's comments - lets take those offenders and clean up the highways and byways of our area to attract more businesses to our area. Wouldn't this individual rather state that our area has great employers rather than a lot of drug users!

-- Posted by Civic Wisdom on Fri, Apr 17, 2009, at 10:45 AM

The sky is blue, honey is sweet and all is well in the world!

Now for a reality check. Bio mass can be utilized in many ways BUT if you look-up Bio Mass Development Co, Fishers, IN they burn. They burn garbage & sewage to create steam generated electricity.

As for the much generated CO2 this plant will generate...your President is moving to greatly increase taxes on industries, businesses & individuals as CO2 polluters. This plant is NOT good for Clay County.

-- Posted by Reviere on Fri, Apr 17, 2009, at 12:34 PM

I agree with civic wisdom, localgal, adj and civisi...this sounds like a good thing to me. I have read some about biomass plants and they seem to be increasing in popularity due to their "green" technology. Also, according to the tv, this will be wood waste used for electric. It may not be perfect, but if it is better than the other options, I say let's do it! And more jobs for Clay County! That has to be a plus! I think we need to encourage those who want to bring new jobs to our county. Especially in a time of financial struggle in our country. I can't wait to hear more!

-- Posted by Countrylady on Fri, Apr 17, 2009, at 1:00 PM

Here is one of the sites I found when I did the search...still sounds great to me! Check it out...


-- Posted by Countrylady on Fri, Apr 17, 2009, at 1:13 PM

I had to do some reading before forming an opinion, thanks for the websites, ladies. I also checked out http://www.nrel.gov/biomass/ and went through several other websites that one led me to.

I think that it is a good idea that utilizes what is now a waste product. It is noted that the wood waste to be used is what used to be made into paper products in Terre Haute on the Inside Indiana Business website. I wonder what they have been doing with it since that plant closed? Another thing that I like about the project is that the plan is to build the plant on strip-mined land, although I have to wonder about the feasibility of that.

I understand the concerns of some of the readers who have commented about the possiblity of odor. LOL, crude oil stinks, too. Many forms of energy does or are just plain dangerous. Anyone ever been around a still? Take a trip to Lynchburg, Tenn. home of Jack Daniels. The town smells of silage, which is almost the same as sour mash. Ethanol production smells much the same.

A friend of mine that raises hogs told me once that his neighbor once complained to him about the smell of his feeder operation. My friend replied that the odor was the smell of money being made and pork getting to the supermarket. The smell of this plant, if any, will be the smell of money being made and electricity coming to your home. If you have a better idea, then, you have a business opportunity,LOL!

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Fri, Apr 17, 2009, at 1:53 PM

Greetings Leo,

I understand what you are saying but I am a little frustrated with your LOL.

Here is an example. My Mother has lived in her home off of Murphy for a couple of decades. We were raised there. A farmer has just put in a oil well. You are correct when you say crude oil stinks. All the homes around the well now has the pleasure of smelling and hearing the motor of the well, probably for decades. The value of her home just plummeted and good luck selling it, my guess is she will not even be able to open her windows on nice days and have to run the air conditioner, at her own expense. Should ones person profit win over the quality of life of the people living around the well? There are many homes in this area.

Now to follow through on your example about the hog farm. If the farm was there first and you buy land, it's your own fault for not being a wise consumer. But if your home was there first and said hog farmer moves in, is it fair that you are not compensated for the loss in your home value?

We should all have the right to breath fresh air.I am not saying the plant is a bad idea, I am just saying that controls should be in place and surrounding home owners should be considered.

-- Posted by localgal on Fri, Apr 17, 2009, at 2:37 PM


When I passed that new oil well on Murphy I said same thing. "poor people who live here". Another thing I did find out however is that the people who put the well in went around offering slight shares in profit taken form that well and others that are planned to go into that area. Those people who signed up for the profit also were signing away their rights to sue for damages done to their land or its value. Hopefully your relative did not sign so that they and others who are dismayed by the well CAN at least attempt to recoup some of the former value of their property.

There's another thing thought hat we as a community can do to protest our property investments. Call for some zoning laws in the county. I know some don't want them as they want the freedom to do whatever they want with their land but some people's idea of treasure is other people's trash. While I don't mind at all having soybeans or corn for a neighbor, I don't want a junkyard or oil well. Without zoning our investment is a never ending crap shoot as we can never be sure what might go in next door. Just another way to protect our investments and make our county more attractive to those wanting to invest in land and businesses in the area.

And to go back to biomass...didn't we allow trash trucks from as far away as New Jersey to dump trash in the landfill so it got filled up so fast and closed just to make a quick fix buck?? While a biomass facility might bring jobs into the community, let's make sure that their decision to place it here isn't because other locations didn't want them doing something negative in their county to further diminish it in desirability for further development.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Fri, Apr 17, 2009, at 11:23 PM

Greetings Jenny,

I hope the powers that be in Clay County will consider homeowners on this issue. The well smells and you can hear it all the way to the 4-H fairground!

I found this article and I hope it will not be the way Clay County goes. http://www.printthis.clickability.com/pt...

For whoever reads this article beware. The next oil well can be in your back yard! Life as you know it will never be the same. To those who own the well, why don't you move next door to your well and see how much you like it.

-- Posted by localgal on Sat, Apr 18, 2009, at 8:43 PM

Greetings Jenny,

I wanted to follow up on my comment. Yes I agree with you that we need zoning laws. It's not that I begrudge people or industry growing in this county, but homeowners also should be able to breathe clean air and not fear getting cancer or never being able to open a window or have a peaceful night's sleep.

Let's take the Jackson area where this well is. Many high end homes are being built in this area, because it was a nice place to live. That brings increased property tax revenue to Clay County. Now if what you say about more wells going in is true in that area, why would that growth continue? And what of the poor people whose dream home now smells like an oil field? How does that benefit the common good of the citizens of Clay County?

Technology can solve some amazing problems. I can't help but feel that you can make a well pump nearly silent and not foul the air. But if it can't, does it belong in the middle of many homes? People should come before personal gain. Home owners should be protected by those who receive their taxes.

This Bio Mass plant is only good for Clay County if it does not pollute Clay County. 40 jobs is good, but not amazing; if it turns us into a toxic wasteland it would not be worth it. If it can be done safely then it is worth it. In the end, do we want Clay County to grow into a place that draws people and business because the quality of life is good? Or do we want Clay County to attract every business who no one else wants, and no one stays here unless they are so poor they can't move? What will grow us for the better - better jobs, better schools, better health care? That power is in the hands of the people who are in office.

I guess it comes down to this: are those who are minding the store focused on not only money but safety, I pray so. I believe common ground can be found. If Clay County does not have zoning laws that protect homeowners, then we are behind and need to do so. This situation has really awoken us. I hope it wakes up others, and I hope for the best for Clay County.

-- Posted by localgal on Sat, Apr 18, 2009, at 10:14 PM

Localgal, I understand your point. What is in the neighborhood when you bought property, you accept with the purchase. Changes made that affect your property afterwards are, or should be, discussed with you before being made. Jenny also has a good point, if we do not have laws requiring consensus before changes can be made, we should. I live in the City of Brazil. A neighbor wanted to install a new mobile home, but had to get his neighbor's permission. He got it. Of his neighbors, three live in modulars and one in a single-wide that has been added on to. Another neighbor wanted to build apartments, the neighborhood rejected that idea.It was too great of a change to the neighborhood to have a multi-family building in our quiet piece of the world where we would who did what or whom to contact as we do now, as I see it. Frankly, I'm beginning to worry about the new V.F.W. post with overflow parking on the street.

As to my friend, the hog farmer, it was my failure to explain that he, indeed, was the resident who had been there the longest. His complaining neighbor actually bought his property from him...LOL......a quarter of a mile down the road.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Wed, Apr 22, 2009, at 9:26 AM

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