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News release

July 3, 2024

Contact

Michael Rafferty, 651-757-2662, michael.rafferty@state.mn.us

MPCA considering potential environmental impacts from proposed anaerobic digester in Scott County

Dem-Con is proposing a new facility that will process organic materials through anaerobic digesters at its environmental campus in Shakopee, Minnesota, and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) will soon release its review of environmental impacts for public comment. The proposed facility includes two anaerobic digesters that will process source-separated organics in durable compostable bags, organic-rich materials, yard waste, and other food waste into natural gas and biochar. The facility will accept materials from Ramsey and Washington counties, and other third-party sources.

The project requires an environmental assessment worksheet (EAW) and an air permit from the MPCA. These items work together to thoroughly assess the potential for significant environmental effects and implement measures to protect the environment and nearby residents.

Anaerobic digestion is a process through which bacteria break down organic matter in the absence of oxygen in a reactor. These reactors contain complex microbial communities that break down (or digest) the waste to produce renewable natural gas and digestate, a solid and liquid material. Biochar, a form of charcoal that can be used to improve soil health, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and improve soil moisture, is created from the solids. Overall, this process creates a sustainable alternative to landfilling organic feedstock materials. 

The permit and EAW are expected to go on public notice for 30 days beginning July 16, 2024. At that time, the public is encouraged to comment on both documents. The multi-part project includes additional construction and permits that will be released for public review at a later date.

The MPCA will host a public meeting for community members on Monday, Aug. 5, 2024, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Jackson Town Hall (1091 130th St. in Shakopee) to discuss the project in full detail. There will be an open house and brief presentation on the draft air permit and EAW.

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