Draft air permit expected later this year
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) released its draft Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW) today for the planned Epitome Energy soybean processing facility in Crookston, Minnesota. Epitome Energy is planning construction of a new soybean crush and extraction facility. At full capacity, it would process up to 42 million bushels of soybeans per year. The facility will produce up to 450 million pounds of crude oil, just under 1 million tons of soybean meal, and 65,000 tons of soybean hulls. The project will be located near the Crookston Junction at Minnesota Northern Railroad’s connection to the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad’s (BNSF) mainline. A majority of the end products produced at the Epitome facility will be shipped by rail.
The EAW reviewed potential impacts to local geology, soils, groundwater, surface water, and other potential environmental impacts. Some of the key findings are:
- The depth to groundwater is approximately 11.5 feet, the site is not in a wellhead protection area, and there are no known wells on the site.
- The project will impact two wetlands on the site. No public surface waters are on or near the site.
- A significant increase in impervious surfaces created by the project will require utilization of drainage basins and stormwater best management practices.
- The proposed facility will require an air permit to ensure emissions comply with regulations under the federal Clean Air Act.
The EAW is an information-gathering document used to inform decision makers including those issuing land use and environmental permits that are required for the project. The environmental review process provides opportunity for public input during the public comment period. The MPCA will host a virtual public information meeting on Thursday, August 4, from 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn more and ask questions about the EAW.
The public can review the draft EAW and submit public comments by visiting www.pca.state.mn.us/epitome or by mail:
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
c/o Charles Peterson
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. Given the nature of the facility, Epitome Energy will require multiple permits from various permitting authorities.