The newspaper’s April 4 article, “Study cites nonexistent biomass plant at Madison Paper,” was both misleading and flatly wrong.

Not once in the Partnership for Policy Integrity’s study on pollution from the bioenergy industry is the previously planned biomass plant at Madison Paper mentioned or “cited” in any way. Nor does the report “point to” the permit, as your article states. The air permit for the proposed plant was included, along with 87 others, in summary statistics describing a persistent nationwide pattern for a new wave of biomass plants, whether those plants eventually were scrapped or in fact built, such as the biomass expansion at the Verso plant in nearby Bucksport (which is actually cited in the study).

The scientific reality is that biomass plants emit as much or more pollution as a modern fossil fuel plant, yet they are regulated much more loosely by the EPA and state agencies, including the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. Since these plants are collecting taxpayer and electricity-ratepayer subsidies for renewable energy, this means, literally, that these dollars are going to a technology that can make people sick, or even kill them.

As the American Lung Association, which opposes biomass power, would agree, the people of Madison should be grateful the biomass burner wasn’t installed at the paper mill, and the people of Bucksport should be concerned that the biomass burner at the Verso facility is a lot dirtier than it would be if it were held to modern pollution control standards.

Mary Booth, directorPartnership for Policy IntegrityPelham, Mass.