PORTLAND -- A biomass energy plant near Beavercreek has drawn hundreds of detractors.
Clackamas Compost Products wants to move its wood composting operation from the Clackamas industrial area to just off Redland Road.
The proposed site, about six miles northeast of Beavercreek, would turn forest product waste into diesel.
The project’s detractors are not opposed to converting the waste to energy; they would just prefer it were built somewhere else.
“We know bio's going to happen. We know recycling’s going to happen, but this isn't the place," said April McGinnis, with Redland Community Action.
Hundreds of signs in opposition surround the 150-acre site.
"Aquifers run under this property and ground water is a really big issue for us,” Redland Community Action’s Robert Ellerby told KGW.
The Department of Environmental Quality will have to issue permits for water, noise and air quality issues.
Clackamas Composting said it's not just a composting facility; it would turn waste into diesel fuel sold at gas pumps.
Spokesman Will Gehr said the company hopes to show the plant’s benefits will make any local impact acceptable.
Before the project can proceed, Clackamas County will have to change the zoning from farm use to forestry and then issue a conditional-use permit.
Residents say the land has already been purchased, but they will continue to oppose the site.
There’s a “possibility to come back in two years,” McGinnis said, “We're going to fight to make sure it doesn't come back.”
Clackamas Composting has already built a pilot biofuel plant in Lebanon, which is days away from becoming operational.