EPA grant supports development of California biomass project

By Erin Voegele | June 01, 2017

The U.S. EPA has awarded $56.8 million in fiscal year 2017 brownfields funding through its assessment and cleanup grants. A portion of that funding will benefit a bioenergy project in California.

According to information released by EPA Region 9, the Plumas County Community Development Commission was granted $200,000 to complete a brownfields property assessment and develop a clean-up plan for a 28-acre former lumber mill site in Crescent Mills, California. The award will leverage approximately $1 million of preliminary assessment and redevelopment grants that have already been provided to the site.

The site will later be developed into an integrative wood utilization campus that will process biomass material removed from surrounding forests for fire control and ecosystem restoration. The campus is expected to include a biomass power station, a wood chipping facility, and other businesses focused on wood product utilization. These operations are expected to spur local economic growth and create jobs lost from the declining timber industry.

The EPA also said redevelopment of the property will reduce forest biomass burning, which degrades air quality, and will prevent contamination on the site from entering local waterways.