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New England News

Court Fight Ends In Defeat For Springfield Biomass Opponents

A rendering of the proposed biomass power plant in an industrial section of East Springfield.
Palmer Renewable Energy

The highest court in Massachusetts may have dealt a fatal blow to opponents of a proposed wood-burning power plant in Springfield.

The state’s Supreme Judicial Court has refused to consider an appeal of two lower court rulings that directed the city to issue a building permit for the controversial project.

A spokesman for Palmer Renewable Energy said they looked forward to bringing the $150 million biomass energy project to fruition after  nearly 8 years of legal challenges. 

Environmental activist Michaelann Bewsee said plant opponents will ask the city’s health board to stop the project.

"We are doing the best we can to make sure people won't suffer from pollution, and the public health council that is their job. So, we just want them to do their job," said Bewsee.

The plant was awarded a state air quality permit in 2011 after several contentious public hearings.