Posted: Thursday, June 23, 2011 9:03 AM
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) -- The Missoula City-County Health Department has granted the University of Montana an air quality permit to build a $16 million biomass gasification boiler on campus.
The department concluded Wednesday that UM's proposal to burn wood meets all ambient and air quality standards. The university wants to replace 70 percent of its natural gas consumption with wood, a renewable resource. The system would use trees killed by bark beetles, as well as branches, bark and leaves left behind after timber harvesting, to produce heat and power.
It would be the cleanest wood-fired boiler in the state, but several people expressed concern about how the project would affect the total particulate load in Missoula's air.
The Missoulian reports the health department's permitting decision is subject to appeal.
Information from: Missoulian, http://www.missoulian.com
Copyright 2011 The AP.