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Hearing Officer: Springfield Biomass Permit Should Be Denied

A proposal for a biomass energy plant in North Springfield should be denied, according to the hearing officer in the case.

Two developers, Winstanley Enterprises and Weston Solutions, are seeking a certificate of public good from the state Public Service Board. They hope to build a 35 megawatt wood-burning power plant in the North Springfield Industrial Park.

But in a document issued Friday, hearing officer John Cotter said truck traffic to and from the plant would have an undue impact on the community and its narrow residential streets.

The plant would burn between five and 12 truckloads of wood chips per hour.

Cotter said the project could benefit the region in terms of wages, jobs and taxes.

Parties in the case have until the end of November to comment before the Public Service Board makes a final decision.