Board says Eyota ethanol plant poses no significant risk

Opposed to ethanol plant
A resident of Eyota displays a lawn sign in opposition to the proposed ethanol plant.
MPR Photo/Sea Stachura

The Citizens' Board of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has decided there's been enough environmental study on an ethanol plant proposed for the Rochester suburb of Eyota.

Environmentalists worry about building a plant that uses a lot of water in the porous limestone region of southeastern Minnesota. They say it could pollute aquifers, or deplete them and that the bedroom community of Rochester, is not the right place for an ethanol plant.

Last month the Citizens Board asked for more information. Now they're convinced, by the company and MPCA staffers, that the MinnErgy plant poses no significant environmental risks.

MinnErgy President Ron Scherbring said he's ready to start raising money to build the plant.

"The credit crunch is on but we're still able make profit in ethanol, we'll see what future brings," Scherbring said. "But you have to have a permit before you can do anything else."

Critics of the project say they'll probably take it to court.

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