Drax Biomass cuts down trees and sends them overseas to Asia and Europe to be burned for energy. Drax claims community safety is a priority. Yet Drax knows they’re emitting hazardous air pollutants.
They’ve been repeatedly caught exceeding air pollution limits at their plants in Mississippi and Louisiana. They’ve been fined $5.7M for these violations. But they get $2.2M every day in UK government subsidies. The UK, EU, and Asia say burning forests as fuel is “carbon neutral”. But biomass emits more carbon than coal.
Frontline communities are sick of waiting for action. We’re taking the communities’ demands to the source.
Drax causes significant damage across US Southern forests and communities. Drax destroys more than 59,000 acres of Southern forests every year. Drax can’t rely solely on waste wood to meet bioenergy demand. Wood pellet production releases carbon at every stage. Drax’s plants release toxic air pollution and harmful dust in surrounding communities. When burned, wood pellets release more carbon emissions than coal.
Drax’s air and noise pollution is harming residents living near facilities. We petition Drax to take immediate action:
1.Establish a Good Neighbor Fund. Help improve the quality of life harms that your operations cause. This includes, but is not limited to, funding:
Air purifiers and filters for affected communities for life.
New community health centers in affected communities.
A study of the health impacts and associated treatments/costs in affected communities. An independent stakeholder must perform this study. The state health department or a university public health program are suitable.
2. Stop Air & Noise Pollution:
Notify the community and regulators of any pollution violations.
Stop exceeding air pollution limits.
Reduce emissions of toxic chemicals as required by the Clean Air Act.
Install air quality monitors with filters. They must be within a quarter mile of your operating and proposed facilities.
Install fugitive dust controls at all your operating and proposed facilities.
Install Continuous Emissions Monitoring (CEMS) for Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and other toxins.
Stop operation of any facility that is unable to stay within pollution limits.
Limit nighttime operations of heavy equipment between the hours of 8pm to 6am. Use noise abatement structures. Install noise barriers such as tree buffers and vegetated berms.
3. Stop accepting government renewable energy grants and subsidies. 4. Stop expansion. This includes BECCS (Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage) facilities. 5. Stop sourcing from natural forests. 6. Stop claiming that bioenergy is a “carbon-neutral”, clean, and renewable energy.
Your corporation claims it’s serious about providing clean and renewable energy. Take corporate responsibility. Act now to address these concerns.
We will deliver all petition signatures to Drax during their annual general meeting in April.
Will Gardiner, Drax Global CEO
Matt White, Executive Vice President, Pellet Operations North America
If you represent an organization that would like to sign-on, please click here.
Gloster, MS community members share their experience of the Drax wood pellet plant in their neighborhood.