Enviva, Stone County supervisors reach agreement regarding Enviva plant
STONE COUNTY, Miss. (WLOX) - Enviva is one step closer to having a wood pellet plant in Stone County.
Thursday, the Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to approve a memorandum of understanding, a fee-in-lieu tax agreement and enter into a Development Infrastructure Program grant agreement with the state Development Authority.
That comes as 350 Stone County residents signed a petition to have more accountability to ensure Enviva follows emission regulations. Petitioners wanted additional penalties to come from the county if those regulations were not followed. Stone County Supervisors said that will not happen because that is the job of the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality.
“By no means are we against extra testing,” said board president Lance Pearson. “We do expect a report annually of what (Enviva) is doing and what emissions they’re putting out. Me personally, it’s hard for me to believe that they could get the permits if the emissions are that detrimental to the safety of people. I don’t believe the state would have allowed the permits to be issued.”
Stone County is giving Enviva financial incentives to build there. Part of the deal includes a ten-year fee-in-lieu agreement. That means, instead of paying taxes, Enviva will pay a fee. After the deal expires, the company will start paying regular taxes.
Next Tuesday, the Wiggins Board of Alderman will decide whether they agree to Enviva’s memorandum of understanding. If it’s approved, Enviva hopes to begin construction this year and open the plant in 2024.
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