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Biomass Dispute Settled

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Valley Springs, CA – A resolution has been reached regarding a proposed biomass project.

The Buena Vista Power Plant will move forward and employ an estimated 36 workers. It will be located near Ione in Amador County. Calaveras County Supervisor Steve Wilensky served as one of the mediators in helping reach a compromise after a lawsuit to stop the project was filed by the Center for Biological Diversity. Wilensky says he became involved because the biomass plant will benefit Calaveras County from a forest health standpoint, and create jobs for the region.

“Having a lot of people employed back in the forest makes a big difference for our communities,” says Wilensky. “Once we reach an agreement on things like this, we can stop spending our dollars and time in court, and get out in the forest and do some good work.”

When overgrown forests are thinned for fire safety and restoration projects, the waste can be sent to the plant to later create electricity.

The Buena Vista owners and the Center for Biological Diversity agreed to a “Forest Practices Agreement.” Wilensky says, “It is a summary of the things that the parties can agree upon. It will give the plant adequate supplies, and at the same time, not tear up the place.”

The plant will use wood chips to generate up to 18.5 megawatts of power.