Cook County citizens reach agreement on wood pellet plant

Jan. 7—ADEL — Concerned Citizens of Cook County (4C), represented by the Southern Environmental Law Center, has reached a settlement agreement with Spectrum Energy Georgia LLC in the operation of a proposed wood pellet plant in Adel.

"We congratulate the concerned citizens in Adel who took an important step forward for public health and local democracy with this agreement," Adam Colette of Dogwood Alliance said in a news release. "At the same time, there are no regulations or policies in the state that stop forest destruction or destructive climate impacts of the wood pellet industry, and so this remains a travesty of justice for the state."

Forest destruction is bad for biodiversity, the climate and water quality, 4C representatives said. Industrial logging is on the rise in the region thanks in part to the wood pellet industry. As a result, forest disturbance from logging in the Southeast is four times more than South American rainforests.

"The challenge for communities like Adel and other communities that have been reliant on an economy of extraction is political leadership that is unwilling to see the existential crisis of climate change and establish laws that address ecological sustainability," Colette added. "Nothing is more important than ensuring a safe, inhabitable world for the children of today and future generations."

In addition to the settlement agreement with Spectrum, lawyers for SELC representing 4C filed a Title VI complaint against the Georgia Environmental Protection Division for failure to protect the local citizens of Adel.

Concerned Citizens of Cook County will host a public forum on Thursday at Bethel Baptist Church in Adel.