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Wood Pellet Company pledges money for conservation in NC, Virginia

Wood pellet company pledges money for conservation in NC, Virginia
by Bruce Siceloff – The News & Observer

Dogged by critics who say the growing wood-pellet industry fouls the air and spoils sensitive woodlands, Maryland-based Enviva says it will provide $5 million over 10 years for conservation grants to protect bottomland forests in North Carolina and Virginia.

Enviva makes pellets at two mills in northeastern North Carolina and one in southeastern Virginia, using wood from nearby forests, and loads the pellets onto ships at its export terminal in Chesapeake, Va. Electric utilities in Europe and the United Kingdom burn American wood pellets for fuel.

Nonprofit groups will be eligible for grants for two purposes, Enviva said Wednesday: to shield some of the most ecologically sensitive forests from any logging, and to protect other woodlands – where bottomland timber is harvested for furniture, construction lumber, pellets and other uses – from being converted to farms and shopping centers.

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