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Monday, March 22, 2010

Facts about proposed Rothchild biomass plant

A letter to the editor of the Wausau Daily Herald:

Over the past two months, several hundred area residents have taken time to engage with us in positive, open conversations about the sustainable biomass energy plant that we're proposing to build in Rothschild. Unfortunately, some facts continue to be misrepresented.

Fact: While there are many types of biomass that can be used for fuel, our plant will burn wood waste and wood waste only. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources permit clearly defines the biomass fuel to be used. Any deviation from that would result in strict penalties. Further, Wisconsin's abundant forests can provide biomass fuel for many decades to come.

Fact: Our new biomass facility will reduce emissions at the Domtar mill site by approximately 30 percent through the replacement of the mill's aging boilers with newer, cleaner boilers.

Fact: The project will be constructed by Wisconsin companies -- companies that will hire an estimated 400 local workers to build the plant. And importantly, along with the generation of renewable power, a cleaner running paper mill and the addition of 150 jobs related to sustainable wood harvesting, the new biomass plant will boost Domtar's sustainable papermaking operations. That means the Domtar mill will be better positioned to continue providing quality jobs for future generations of area residents. It is our desire and responsibility to answer your questions and to present the facts and data on this important project in an open and responsible way. We look forward to continuing our conversations.

Al Mihm, We Energies, Milwaukee

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