City Defers Consideration of the Adage Biomass Project

- Posted: 03/15/10
Mayor Anthony Baker of the City of Gretna has decided to defer any decision on the Adage Biomass Project for a period of six months to enable the City to study this matter in greater detail.

Since the December 9, 2010 announcement of Gretna, Florida as the site for construction of Adage, LLC’s second Bioenergy Plant in the State of Florida, the City Commission and City staff have been consulting with industry experts, federal and state regulators and legislators, economic and health experts concerning the viability and sustainability of biomass as a means of producing electricity in Florida. Since the project’s inception, the City Commission and City staff have spent innumerable hours: (1) listening to citizens and elected leaders within Gadsden County; (2) reviewing state and federal renewable energy policy along with proposed legislation; (3) considering the operational performance of other biomass facilities within the United States and overseas; and (4)speaking with interested stakeholders concerning the sustainability of biomass and the need to implement Green Energy Solutions to reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign oil. Based on City staff research the Mayor agrees that the economic benefit to the community is great, however he feels the City should go no further with this project until the citizens of Gretna are provided reasonable assurances that the proposed Adage project will not jeopardize the health and safety of the residents of the community.

During the next six months the City intends to engage in the following activities to educate itself and its residents on the advantages and disadvantages of the Bioenergy Plant: (1) review, through independent analysis, the findings of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection relating to Adage’s environmental permits; (2) review any public policy changes pertaining to biomass/renewable energy which may or may not be enacted during the current session of the Florida Legislature; (3) study and review (both nationally and internationally) comparable biomass technology projects (including on-site visits); and (4) collaborate with and engage neutral third-party healthcare professionals to independently assess the potential health impacts of the Adage technology on Gadsden County, Florida.

The City has been very disappointed by a small number of individuals, both from outside our community and within, who have made attempts to distort its efforts to create sustainable economic opportunities for the residents of Gretna and Gadsden County; persons who have never in the past demonstrated any particular interest in the welfare of our residents. The City’s commitment and determination to increase our nation’s ability to produce energy within its borders remains strong, despite the misconceptions that have been fostered by the unfortunate few.

During this process the City was gratified to learn that there are citizens in Gadsden County, and medical doctors in the Leon/Gadsden County area who are really concerned about the health and safety of our community. Regardless of the future of the Adage Project, Gretna looks forward to engaging those individuals who have been so concerned about the existing health issues in Gadsden County to translate their concerns into action by assisting our local healthcare professionals in the delivery of healthcare services in places like the City of Gretna Health Clinic. The City of Gretna will continue to be a leader in the economic development of Gadsden County as a whole and remains committed to working with all willing partners to make Gretna and Gadsden County the best place in Florida to live, work, play and stay.