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Springfield biomass energy plant dealt a setback

Plans to build a $150 million wood-burning power plant in Springfield have been dealt a setback by the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals, which overturned two building permits.

The permits granted by the city’s Building Code Enforcement Commissioner were overturned unanimously Wednesday after the board agreed with an appeal filed by residents that the commissioner had overstepped his authority.

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The Republican reports that city councilors and residents argued that the permits for the biomass plant are invalid because the council revoked a special permit for the project last year.

Lawyers for the developer, Palmer Renewable Energy, argued that the building permits are valid, and the project does not need a special permit.

Arguments hinged on whether the plant is an incinerator.

The developer can appeal the decision to court.

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