AirKeepers Join the Wood Pellet Forum

Oct 4, 2017

Bob Parr at Wood Pellet ForumBiomass Energy in NC

On Saturday, September 29th, Clean Air Carolina staff traveled to Wilmington, NC for the first ever Wood Pellet Forum. The event was a special meeting of stakeholders, advocates, economists, scientists and the general public focusing on the effects of the wood pellet industry on the forests and environment of North Carolina.

The Science and Economics of North Carolina Forests

In the first session, speakers discussed how the Southeast is home to a world-renowned ecosystem of unmatched biodiversity, how that ecosystem is being depleted and strained due to development and clear-cutting, and how the economics of timber, paper, and biomass energy from wood pellets are contributing to the impacts on the region and to worldwide carbon dioxide levels.

Fight for the Right to Breathe Healthy Air

In the second session, we heard from Medical Advocates for Healthy Air member Dr. Bob Parr discuss the health effects of air pollution from the industry, Debra David of Concerned Citizens of Richmond County, a group fighting the expansion of a Wood Pellet plant in their already heavily industrialized community, David Carr,  from Southern Environmental Law Center on the legal efforts to stop the industry, and activist Peter Deane from London who has been organizing Biofuelwatch protests of Drax, the largest facility burning the wood pellets in the United Kingdom.

Citizen Science Leading the Way

Calvin Cupini AirKeepers Program ManagerThe following day, the AirKeeper Team presented Clean Air Carolina’s citizen science air monitoring efforts to interested participants of the conference. Attendees learned about Clean Air Carolina’s programs and specifically how the Internet of Things and crowdsourcing is enabling hyper-local air quality monitoring. There was a vibrant conversation followed by the selection of six new monitor hosts in the Wilmington area! Our monitoring network is expanding!

If you would like to become an AirKeeper and contribute to the fast-growing network of citizen scientists in North Carolina, Become an AirKeeper Today!