Contact: Cathy Rofshus, 507-206-2608
Mankato, Minn. — The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is inviting interested parties to comment on an Environmental Assessment Worksheet prepared for Minnesota Municipal Power Agency’s proposed biofuels plant in the city of Le Sueur, which is about 40 miles southwest of the Twin Cities.
The plant, called Hometown BioEnergy, would convert 45,000 tons a year of agricultural and food-processing waste, such as corn silage, into three products: methane biogas that would be burned to create electricity; liquid fertilizer that would be applied to nearby cropland; and a residual solid material that would be converted into burnable pellets. The plant would generate eight megawatts of electricity and deliver it directly to the city of Le Sueur, population 4,000.
The plant’s total building area would be 25,500 square feet on a site 35 acres in size. The site is a depleted gravel pit on the south side of Le Sueur surrounded by cropland, an airport, and an operating gravel mine. The nearest home is more than 1,000 feet from the proposed food-waste storage area, byproduct storage area, and main facility. The Minnesota River is 1.2 miles to the west, the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge is 4.3 miles to the north, and a Le Sueur County wildlife protection area is 4.2 miles to the south.
For this project, the MPCA is the state agency responsible for administering permits for air emissions, stormwater management, above-ground tanks, and land application of industrial byproducts. The city of Le Sueur is responsible for rezoning of the site and permits for building.
The Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW) provides basic information about how a proposed project could affect the environment and helps determine whether an Environmental Impact Statement, a more comprehensive environmental review, is needed. Comments on the EAW are due at the MPCA on or before 4:30 pm on March 7.
On March 20, from 6:30-9:00 p.m., the MPCA will also host a public informational meeting on the permit for the project at the Park Elementary School auditorium in Le Sueur. Comments on the permit will be accepted until 4:30 p.m. on March 27.
Copies of the Hometown BioEnergy worksheet are available at the MPCA St. Paul office, 520 Lafayette Road N. The MPCA website also has a copy of the Hometown BioEnergy EAW.
Send questions and comments on the Hometown BioEnergy worksheet to William Lynott, MPCA, 520 Lafayette Road N., Saint Paul MN 55155-4194. Lynott can also be reached by phone at 651-757-2542 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to the worksheet, the MPCA’s draft Air Emissions permit and State Disposal System (SDS) permit will be available for public comment at a later date. The contact person for the Air Emissions permit is Adriane Lenshek (phone 651-757-2526) and the contact person for the SDS permit is Kate Frantz who can be reached by phone at 651-757-2370.