Cihan Başakçıoğlu / DUVAR
Aegean İzmir's Foça district is facing yet another environmental threat as an impact assessment for a new biomass power plant was conducted on Feb. 5, and other plant operators have expressed interest in the area.
Located between two grazing grounds in Foça's Yeniköy neighborhood, the environmental impact assessment for a biomass power plant project was conducted on Feb. 5 despite ongoing litigation against the Environment and Urbanization Ministry.
There have been two projects that aimed to build on this area, and the ministry previously ruled that an environmental impact report wasn't necessary, a ruling that was later overturned by courts, stopping construction.
Environmental impact assessment reports are official evaluations of a construction project's prospective environmental impact, although the document is often neglected, manipulated, or bypassed entirely for financial gain.
"The same company wanted to build a biogas power plant, but that was canceled. Then they switched to biomass, which has the potential to become the biggest threat to our region," Yeni Foça Forum member Nermin Korkmaz said.
Biomass plants are easier to establish than fossil fuel plants, and the government wants to "burn whatever they can get their hands on," Korkmaz said, adding that the state's way of repurposing imported trash was also to burn it.
"There were sheep grazing, beehives, you could really see the natural life in the area," Korkmaz said about the designated location of the biomass plant, adding that, "There are three drinking water wells in the area too."
The company building the plant also tried to fence off the construction lot immediately after the environmental impact assessment without waiting for the results, which locals prevented, Korkmaz added.