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Building ethanol plants the focus of Illinois workshop
Illinois Correspondent

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. — Individuals, companies and financial institutions interested in garnering more information concerning the construction ethanol plants in Illinois were offered the opportunity to attend an ethanol workshop at the National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center (NCERC) in Edwardsville on May 24.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA), Department of Agriculture (IDOA) and Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) partnered with the Illinois Corn Growers Association and the NCERC to host “Building an Ethanol Plant in Illinois”, which showcased the process and loopholes of permitting, constructing and operating an ethanol plant in Illinois.

According to Jill Watson, communications manager for the IEPA, this workshop represents a combined effort of various state agencies that typically do not partner with one another, to alert individuals about the process, regulations and common environmental violations associated with ethanol plant construction before they actually break ground.

The workshop focused on educating individuals in an attempt to avoid potential environmental violations before they occur. Topics included: state assistance for ethanol plant construction; the permitting process; environmental regulations and compliance; and alternatively powered ethanol plants.

Participants were also able to tour the NCERC research facility. NCERC is a state-of-the art research facility concentrating on near term technologies intended to enhance the sustainability and economic development of the renewable fuels industry.

Additionally, workshop participants received a copy of the “Building an Ethanol Plant Illinois” binder from IEPA.

According to the Renewable Fuels Association, in the coming years Illinois is poised to be a leader in ethanol production. In 2005, Illinois was ranked second, at 816 million gallons per year, for ethanol production. Iowa, which produces 1,262.5 million gallons of ethanol per year, is ranked first. Overall U.S. ethanol production is at 4,397.7 million gallons per year and is anticipated to continue climbing as the construction of new or expanding ethanol plants continues.

Wednesday’s workshop marked the second joint workshop hosted in part by these agencies. The first workshop was held on January 25, 2006 in Bloomington.

This farm news was published in the May 31, 2006 issue of Farm World, serving Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee.