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Company#039;s new plans sound good on paper

Some things often sound or look good on paper but don't quite translate into reality that well.

You see it in the sports world all the time. A struggling football team adds a bunch of big name players that get the fans excited and the ticket sales pumping. Before they ever hit the field, people are ready to anoint them the next great thing.

Then the time comes to live up to the hype

We should all hesitate to rush judgment on issues where the "proof will be in the pudding," as the saying goes.

That saying applies well to Biomass Energy and its plans to build a $200 to $300 million wood-fired power plant in South Point where the former South Point Ethanol plant once prospered. Creating enough electricity to supply 250,000 households, the plan could create as many as 100 jobs and add millions of dollars to the local economy.

Some would call Biomass a savior for its plans while others are quick to point out the company's rocky past includes its attempts to burn tons of surplus tobacco illegally, several suspicious fires on Biomass' property and the companies failure to pay its taxes in a timely manner.

We feel it is too soon to paint the company as a friend or foe. We must give officials a chance to put their plans together and then see what happens.

Company officials contend that it will be biggest and best wood-fired plant in the entire nation and will also be one of the cleanest of any power plant. The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency will continue to look at the permits and determine what the emission levels of the plant would be.

Local leaders are hopeful the facility moves from the dream state to reality. Most are taking a wait-and-see approach that will be positive during the process.

We urge local leaders and community members to keep an open mind as the plans develop. The community will get a chance to learn more, talk with Biomass leaders and ask the EPA questions at a public at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 23 at the South Point Community Center, 404 Second St.

Written comments can be sent through Aug. 26 to Portsmouth Local Air Agency, Attn: Anne Chamberlain, 605 Washington St., Portsmouth, OH 45662.

We urge concerned residents to attend so that all the information can be discussed. It is important that citizens look at the big picture and do not approach the situation with the "not in my backyard" mentality that seems to surface when any industrial project starts to take shape.

We do not know what the future holds but all good things must begin with an idea on paper.