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Yea or nay on landfill energy

5:45 am November 8th, 2012

No doubt that the phrase “If you don’t vote, you can’t complain” was heard plenty during the runup to the big election that ended yesterday. Something similar could be said about a plan to convert landfill gas in Graham into energy to power vehicles and heat homes and buildings. Pierce County officials want the public to weigh in on the proposal that’s been made by a private company. And now is the time people with an opinion about it should make themselves heard or forever hold their peace, or something like that.
The county Health Department has set Nov. 26 as the deadline for public comments via the agency’s web site, e-mail and postal mail. It’s hard to say if the renewable-energy plant proposed by Biofuels Washington for the LRI Landfill will generate opposition, support, something in between or little reaction at all. But county officials are anticipating a significant amount of feedback. If that happens, it wouldn’t be a surprise, given the amount of controversy that came with the landfill’s opening in 1999. Lots of people weren’t happy with the waste disposal project, and it’s still a sore subject with some today. It came up on occasion during the recent election campaign for the County Council seat whose occupant represents the area where the landfill squats.
But barring any stringent environmental impacts that might make citizens and government officials uneasy, it’s hard to imagine heavy opposition to the Biofuels Washington plan. In general, alternative forms of energy are growing in popularity. Extracting energy from otherwise wasted methane gas at the landfill sounds like a good idea.
(The Dispatch editorials are written by editor Pat Jenkins.)

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