Biomass Plant Rejected in Russell

The big news in alternative energy in Mass. this morning is the latest development in the controversial Russell Biomass project, a proposed 50-megawatt wood-burning power plant.

The Boston Globe reports that the Dept. of Public Utilities ruled the facility would cause “significant, disrupting, and lasting” impacts on the town. Most specifically, this ruling refers to the heavy truck traffic that is expected if the plant is constructed.
The arguments on either side of this issue are heavily charged. Proponents say it’s a move away from fossil fuels that will do a lot of societal good; opponents say the plant will have too many detrimental effects on the bucolic environment of Russell, nestled in the Hilltowns of Western Mass. 
Either way, this is a major setback for Russell Biomass, but the company’s principals, like Bill Hull, say they’re not out of the woods yet. Hull says now, it’s “back to the drawing board” for him. That seems to mean the debate is going to rage on, too; in the same Globe article, leader of the Concerned Citizens of Russell Jana Chicoine said Hull and his partners should “pick up their marbles and go home.”
  — WriterJax