Hearing set for Springfield wood-burning plant proposal

Dispute to be heard in Land Court in Boston March 17th

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A hearing has been scheduled on a proposal to build a biomass wood-burning plant in East Springfield.

A legal dispute over a proposed wood-burning power plant here on the grounds of the Palmer Paving Company will be heard in the Land Court in Boston on March 17th.

Palmer Renewable Energy sued the City of Springfield back in 2011. The city’s building commissioner had issued a permit for the biomass plant project, but the Board of Appeals overturned that decision.

Neighbors who are against the proposal were surprised, when they heard the legal battle is still going on.

“You know, thought that this was it but they are pushing it,” said David Gafney of Springfield. “It’s just disappointing that a local company is pushing this on a community.”

Tom Mackie is Palmer Renewable Energy’s attorney. He told 22News they hope the Land Court will reinstate the building permit.

The Department of Environmental Protection did issue an air permit, saying the proposal meets the air quality standards.

Mackie said after the hearing on March 17th, the Land Court will take some time to issue their ruling.