Eyota ethanol plant suspends fundraising

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

The company proposing a controversial ethanol plant near Rochester in the town of Eyota has suspended its fundraising efforts.

MinnErgy has filed a report with the Securities and Exchange Commission, withdrawing its plans to raise equity.

In an interview with the Rochester Post-Bulletin, MinnErgy President Ron Scherbring said the company still plans to try to build the plant.

The company raised $1.5 million of the $87 million it had hoped to raise.

Local citizens and environmental groups fought the plant, saying it could deplete or pollute fragile water systems in the porous limestone in the area.

Two groups opposed to the project say they will still take the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to court. They say the MPCA's environmental review was faulty, and want any future projects to be scrutinized more carefully.

Jeff Broberg is with the Minnesota Trout Association.

"We believe that the MPCA has a vested interest in advancing and promoting ethanol production in Minnesota. And we don't think they're an unbiased party in this. We think they're promoting this to meet the governor's goal of economic development, at the risk and peril of the environment," Broberg said.

MinnErgy says it still hopes to build the plant someday.

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