Dioxin checks

BEC offers blood tests for POPI neighbors

The Butte Environmental Council has received $11,000 in two grants that it will use to give blood tests to five people who lived close to the Covanta-owned cogeneration plant Pacific Oroville Power Inc.

The ash from the plant, which created energy by burning wood as well as ag and “urban” waste, tested high in dioxins. There is concern that the exhaust from the burners may have contaminated the air for those who lived close to the plant.

BEC’s Mark Stemen said the organization is still figuring out how to offer the tests to those who may be affected. The tests will be analyzed by a lab in Germany, Stemen said. The grants came from the Patagonia outdoor clothing company and Clif Bar organic food makers. Both companies’ websites mention their respective environmental activism.