Planned biomass plant draws opposition
Updated: Friday, December 10, 2010 10:41 AM
Residents: Operation will lower property values, deplete water
By MITCH LIES
A plan to operate a biomass and composting facility in rural Clackamas County has raised citizen ire.
Hundreds of opponents attended the last two Clackamas County Planning Commission meetings and many voiced opposition to the plan.
Citizens fear the operation will deplete their water supply, contaminate groundwater and surface water, clog area roads with traffic and dust and lower property values.
Farmers operating near the proposed site in unincorporated Redland, east of Oregon City, fear the operation could become a haven for plant diseases brought in on compost material.
"The real issue is it's in the wrong place," said area resident Tim Marcum. "It shouldn't be on high-value farmland."
"This is effectively an industrial plant," opponents posted on a website opposing the operation. "It belongs on either industrial or commercial property."
The applicants, Clackamas Compost Products, have applied for a conditional use permit to compost feedstock, yard debris, food scraps and manure for wholesale and to build a facility to convert woody biomass to biodiesel.
The applicants, Duane and Loretta Stroupe, also need a zone change from exclusive farm use to timber on a portion of the 139-acre property.
The planning commission is expected to make a recommendation to the county commission after a hearing Nov. 15.
The commission is scheduled to take up the issue at its Dec. 1 meeting.