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DEQ requires Bastrop wood pellet plant to reduce pollution

Woody Hibbard

The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality is requiring a wood pellet manufacturing plant to install pollution control equipment.

The Environmental Integrity Project released a letter from the DEQ on Tuesday about the Morehouse Parish plant. That comes after several groups filed written comments in 2018 over the renewal of the Drax Group's air pollution control permit, citing health concerns and other things.

Environmental Integrity Project attorney Patrick Anderson says Drax can reduce the plant's emissions to legal levels without cutting jobs.

Drax officials say they don't know what will be required to reduce pollution at the Morehouse plant. The wood pellets are manufactured at the Drax Group's operations and later exported to Britain. In Britain, the wood pellets are smashed into sawdust and burned as fuel for power plants, instead of coal.