Rutland Herald: Bennington College to host biomass panel on March 9

Feb 23, 2011 No Comments by

Published: February 19, 2011

BENNINGTON — Bennington College will be hosting a panel discussion of environmental researchers and experts to discuss biomass-fueled energy production in Vermont.

The event is set for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 9, in response to public concern about the proposed wood-fueled electric generation plant proposed by Beaver Wood Energy in Pownal.

The panel is scheduled to include Dick Velentinetti, director of the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation’s air pollution control division, sociologist Theresa Selfa, ecologist Kerry Woods, and geologist Tim Schroeder. The discussion will be moderated by Valerie Imbruce, Bennington College’s environmental studies director.

”We recognize the urgent need for energy alternatives and the need to base decisions on fair and accurate information,” Imbruce said in a statement.

Beaver Wood Energy, which has offices in Rutland, has applied for permits to build a biomass-fueled plant, at the former Green Mountain Race Track on Route 7 in Pownal, capable of generating up to 29.5 megawatts of electricity. Their proposal also includes a wood pellet manufacturing plant that would use waste heat from the power plant.

The company says it will generate renewable electric power, create new jobs and offer an environmentally-friendly alternative to fossil fuels. Opponents of the project, however, fear the plant will be actually harmful to the environment, the local economy and human health.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will be in the college’s Tishman Lecture Hall.

For more information, visit the college’s website at www.bennington.edu.

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