Proposed biomass plant gets environmental green light

The Associated Press

April 3, 2008

State environmental officials have signed off on a plan to build a wood-burning electrical power plant in the western Massachusetts town of Russell.

The decision clears the way for Russell Biomass to seek final permits for the 50-megawatt, $150 million facility at the site of the former Westfield Paper Mill.

Secretary of Environmental Affairs Ian Bowles approved the final environmental impact report over the objection of some local residents concerned about increased traffic and the potential impact on air and water quality.

The company says the plant will produce safe and clean renewable energy. It hopes to begin construction this fall.