Neighborhood Watch: Many in Kings Beach area do not support biomass plant |

Neighborhood Watch: Many in Kings Beach area do not support biomass plant

Matthew Renda/Sierra SunKings Beach resident Dawn Baffone, who lives about 100 feet from the parcel where the proposed biomass plant would reside, said she is worried about the respiratory impact the facility could have on her family.

KINGS BEACH, Calif. and#8212; A group of locals are restless and#8212; with some perhaps bordering on furious and#8212; about the possibility of a biomass plant being erected in their backyard.

For Dawn Baffone, the thought of possible threats to area children are enough to be skeptical.

and#8220;I have two little girls and I am concerned that the emissions coming from the plant and the trucks could negatively affect their health,and#8221; said Baffone, who lives about 100 feet from a parcel in Kings Beach Placer County officials have proposed as a possible site for the energy-producing facility.

Baffone is one of the more outspoken people who live near the Speckled Avenue/Deer Street intersection and#8212; in proximity to the NV Energy property under consideration and#8212; who is not in favor of erecting a biomass plant close to residential homes.

Besides fears of potential respiratory impacts to her family, Baffone further noted the parcel is roughly two blocks away from Kings Beach Elementary School and the local Boys and Girls Club.

and#8220;It’s just too close to residences,and#8221; she said. and#8220;Biomass plants don’t belong in people’s neighborhoods.and#8221;

Baffone’s neighbor, Ian Smith, agreed.

and#8220;My biggest concern is the noise,and#8221; Smith said. and#8220;When you have five or six trucks coming by the house a day, combined with the different lifting equipment, that should exceed the neighborhood noise ordinances of 45 decibels.and#8221;

Plenty of residents were on hand Tuesday at the North Tahoe Events Center in Kings Beach to hear more discussion on the plan, which also offers a Tahoe City location alternative and would require various permitting approval, including through the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.

While many locals are speaking loudly against the project, not everyone is quick to dismiss. Christine Wright said she will wait until a environmental impact study is released before casting judgment.

and#8220;I’m not one of these NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) people,and#8221; she said. and#8220;If there is a possibility of putting in Cabin Creek I would favor that, but if they have to put it here, I am not totally opposed to that as of right now.”

Brett Storey, Placer County project manager, said the idea is still in its infancy and the environmental review process will address many of the concerns expressed by residents.

and#8220;It may very well be true that the parcel is too close to homes and a school,and#8221; Storey said. and#8220;We don’t know those details yet, and we won’t know until the review process is complete. However, if it is true, we won’t build the facility.and#8221;

Storey said the environmental study will analyze, among other things, the number of homes in proximity to the proposed building, the amount of emissions from the plant and trucks and the direction of prevailing winds.

The review is under way and is scheduled for release in early 2011, Storey said.

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