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Law Suit Against U.P. Cellulosic Bio Refinery Dismissed

In December 2011 a local Michigan resident and the Sierra Club filed a court action against the Mascoma cellulosic ethanol plant (Frontier Renewable Resources) planned for Kinross Charter Township in Chippewa County. The multiple claims alleged that, since a $58.5 million federal grant is involved for the project that an environmental impact statement (EIS) was required under federal law. The suit acknowledged that an environmental assessment was performed, but challenged as erroneous the finding of “no significant impact.” Listing impacts on air quality, forest health, degradation of wildlife and fisheries habitat, and reduction of visual and recreational quality likely to result from projected harvest of 2,800 tons of hardwood logs per day, the suit sought to enjoin the Frontier project unless and until a complete EIS is prepared. The federal district judge recently dismissed the lawsuit, finding environmental and health issues had been adequately considered, that mitigation projects would adequately account for wetland impacts, and that no endangered species were involved.  Meanwhile, everyone in Michigan is wondering when construction will begin.

© 2021 Varnum LLPNational Law Review, Volume III, Number 38
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About this Author

Bruce Goodman, Environmental lawyer, Varnum
Counsel

Bruce practices energy law, environmental law, and construction law. His energy background includes negotiating electric power sales agreements (both for wholesale sellers of energy and for retail consumers of energy) state electric rate cases, developing municipal energy tariffs, and energy project structuring and permitting. For years, he published a blog focused on alternative energy developments in Michigan. Most recently he has been involved in various alternative energy projects, including wind energy, biofuels and solar projects.

His environmental experience includes air...

616-336-6574
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