This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

October 16, 2002

Twelve Ethanol Plants to Cut Air Emissions in Minnesota

Twelve ethanol production plants will drastically reduce their emissions of volatile organic carbons (VOC) and other pollutants under a settlement announced on October 2nd by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5, and the U.S. Department of Justice. Under the settlements, the plants will install thermal oxidizers that reduce VOC emissions from their feed dryers by 95 percent while meeting new, more restrictive emission limits for nitrous oxides, particulate matter, carbon monoxide and other hazardous air pollutants. The 12 ethanol plants comprise 17 percent of the nation's ethanol production capacity. See the press release on the MPCA Web site.

At least one ethanol plant in Minnesota has already made the needed changes: last week, the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) announced that Pro-Corn LLC has installed a thermal oxidizer as part of the plant's expansion. The farmer-owned plant also increased its annual production capacity from 22 to 40 million gallons, an 82 percent increase. See the RFA press release.