Placer creates North Tahoe Truckee Biomass Task Force in bid to build biomass facilities, reducing wildfire risk and green waste fees

Published on Aug. 11, 2022

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The Placer County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted to create the North Tahoe Truckee Biomass Task Force - a regional effort to reduce catastrophic forest wildfires while reducing local green waste tipping fees for customers and agencies.

A major goal of the task force is the establishment of biomass facilities. These facilities can create renewable energy or heat by converting wood scraps left over from forest clearing and defensible space efforts, which then help remove hazardous sources of fuel from wildfires. 

Other task force goals include completing an integrated infrastructure and fuel supply study, understanding the current biomass fuel availability and its long-term sustainability; as well as analyze the effectiveness of biomass for renewable energy and heating, centralizing biomass processing, reducing biomass disposal costs and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“It is absolutely clear that there is a massive need for a biomass facility in North Lake Tahoe,” said Placer County Board Chair and District 5 Supervisor Cindy Gustafson. “I am excited to see all of our North Lake Tahoe local governments and the Community Foundation working together to find solutions.”

The task force consists of Placer and Nevada counties, the Town of Truckee, NorthStar Community Service District and the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation. 

“A biomass facility is very much needed in our region,” said Placer County District 3 Supervisor Jim Holmes. “The only way we are going to achieve that is with regional collaboration. I am very pleased to see this moving forward.”

Currently, the lack of biomass outlets has continued to drive up the cost of disposal and is pushing some programs to leave biomass material on the forest floors increasing fuel loading for future wildfires.

In March, the Board of Supervisors authorized a feasibility evaluation for the Cabin Creek biomass facility in North Lake Tahoe.