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News release

March 14, 2023


Lauren Lewandowski, 651-757-2756,

MPCA reviews proposal to expand ethanol production facility in Sibley County

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The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) today released its environmental assessment worksheet (EAW) for the planned expansion of the Heartland Corn Products Inc. ethanol production facility in Sibley County. Heartland Corn Products Inc. plans to construct a new production unit with technology and equipment to create high-protein byproducts and add additional railroad tracks to increase shipping capacity. This expansion will increase the company’s ethanol production capacity from 155 million gallons to 180 million gallons per year.

The EAW reviewed potential impacts to air, local geology, soils, groundwater, surface water, and other potential environmental impacts. Some key findings include:

  • Construction of the additional rail siding will impact approximately 1.5 acres of wetlands.
  • The facility upgrades and increase in production will require an amendment to the company’s existing MPCA air emissions permit to ensure emissions comply with regulations under the federal Clean Air Act.
  • The facility has a water appropriation permit from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to ensure groundwater resources are managed for all uses.

In addition to the high-protein production unit and rail project, Heartland Corn Products Inc. must install a new natural gas pipeline which will allow the facility to operate at the production rates allowed under its current MPCA air permit emission limits. The proposed pipeline is a separate project still in early development stages and will require additional environmental review at a later date.

Construction for the high-protein production unit is slated to begin as soon as the air permit is issued. Construction for the additional rail siding will begin in spring 2023.

The MPCA invites the public to comment on the EAW. Residents should consider the EAW’s accuracy, potential impacts from the project that warrant further investigation, or the need for an environmental impact statement.

The public can review the draft EAW and submit public comments by visiting or by mail to:
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
c/o Karen Kromar
520 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155

After the public comment period is complete, the agency will review all comments and determine whether additional environmental review will be necessary. If the agency determines there is no need for additional environmental review, the project will proceed to permitting.

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