BLUE LAKE, CA - Wood-fueled and other biomass fired electric generating plants are losing green credentials as they rack up citations for air and water pollution, says a Wall St. Journal report.

The Journal highlights Blue Lake Power, operated by Renewable Energy Partners, Inc. in Blue lake, CA, cited multiple times for polluting the air. The Journal report says 85 biomass-fueled power plants have been cited for air or water pollution of the 107 operating as of January 2012. The period studied covered the past five years. Some infractions were minor. 

While spending millions subsidizing wood burning and other biomass plants, governmental agencies can trip over each other. The USDA and the Department of Energy both support and seed efforts to encourage renewable energy sources such as biomass.

The Department of Justice announced plans to claw back $5 million in investment made in Thompson River Power LLC, a Montana wood-fueled power plant that filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy earlier this year. It was acquired from Wayzata Investment by ecoTech Energy Group last year.

But the EPA and state agencies treat wood-fired power plants as it would those that burn fossil fuels: generators of soot, carbon dioxide and other pollution.

Renewable Energy Developments, which lists almost 170 bio-fueled power plants in the U.S., says its directory is not comprehensive. It includes Blue Lake Power as an 11 megawatt power generating plant.

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