Boulder as a biomass example |

Boulder as a biomass example

Summit Daily/Brad Odekirk

SUMMIT COUNTY ” As county government officials work toward building a wood-fired energy plant near Frisco, local residents got a tour Thursday of a biomass facility in Boulder that is similar to the project planned here.

A small group of citizens joined county representatives on the bus trip that aimed to explain how the biomass facility works and answer questions.

“A lot of my concerns have been addressed,” said Waterdance resident Eileen Davies of the tour. “But what remains is the geographical and meteorological conditions next to the County Commons. There have been no studies, so that concerns me.”

Two plants are proposed at the County Commons to heat surrounding government buildings and the hospital. The project is designed to create a local market for wood waste abundant in Summit County due to pine beetle infestation.

The county has commissioned an environmental report on potential emissions, and presented it at a public meeting in February. The tour Thursday was the county’s next step in the public process.

“Right now, I am hesitant,” said Phil Sanderman, who also lives in Waterdance, a neighborhood located just east of Summit County’s proposed site. “I raised some questions, and I am glad the commissioners are working toward answering them. I want to make sure if it does come, it is bullet proof.”

Liz Finn, who attended as a representative of Northwest Colorado Council of Governments, said she expected to see huge smoke stacks at the facility but was educated by the tour.

“I am amazed at how easy it operates … I am surprised at how self-contained it is,” she said.

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