Photo courtesy of Mendocino Redwood Company.
The Mendocino Forest Products’ Wood Pellet Production Plant is situated on the Russian River near low income neighborhoods, schools, an Indian health clinic that services 9 tribes, and the Coyote Valley reservation. Mendocino Forest Products is owned by the Sansome Company, whose primary investor is the Fisher Family which also owns the Humboldt Redwood Company and Mendocino Redwood Company.
Wood pellet production releases numerous harmful pollutants including carbon monoxide; nitrogen oxide; greenhouse gasses; Volatile Organic Compounds, fine particulate matter at the 2.5 level; acetaldehyde; formaldehyde and methanol. The plant has been found to be in violation of the Air Quality Management District’s operation permit at least three times due to harmful air pollution that is emitted from the plant’s smokestack.
Breathing the pollutants emitted from wood pellet production plants can trigger a variety of health problems particularly to children, the elderly and people of all ages who have lung diseases such as asthma. Additionally, people with COVID-19 who live in U.S. regions with high levels of air pollution are more likely to die from the disease than people who live in less polluted areas, according to a new nationwide study from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Take action below to contact the Mendocino County Air Quality Management District and request that the wood pellet production plant is shut down during the COVID-19 health crisis and until health impacts can be evaluated through a transparent environmental review process and emissions are determined to be safe to neighboring communities.
* Content contributed by Social, Environmental and Indigenous Justice (SEIJ). For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.