A Traverse City utility is beginning to look at possible health effects from a proposed wood biomass plant. Over the next few weeks, a consulting firm will study emissions of small particles emitted during combustion that may affect heart and lungs.
Groups that question the biomass plan say it produces more air pollution than coal or natural gas.
But Karen Feahrs with Traverse City Light and Power says those criticisms don't apply to the state of the art plant they plan to build.
"We've been hearing from a lot of other people, what they think the public health aspects would be," she says. "And we thought it was important to find someone objective. We want to make sure the correct facts get out."
Light and Power is paying $22,000 for a preliminary environmental health study. It's being done by Mac Tec, a nationwide engineering and consulting company with a Traverse City office.
A medical doctor from Massachusetts who is outspoken against biomass will speak to city officials Monday night and in a public session Tuesday evening.
The visit of Dr. William Sammons is sponsored by Michigan Citizens for Energy the Economy and Environment.