homepage logo


Biofuel studies option

By Staff | Sep 4, 2011

Rick Yabroff

Whether a Fairmont ethanol plant discharges wastewater into the Blue Earth River may very well depend on what the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency decides.

“We believe we may have found an option that is a win for everybody. We’ve hired a consulting firm to study it,” says Rick Yabroff, director of environmental health and safety for Biofuel Energy Corp.

The catch, however, is the MPCA granting an extension of a variance permit.

“We don’t know why they wouldn’t allow us to explore other avenues,” Yabroff says.

Company officials have sent a letter to the MPCA in St. Paul citing reasons why they believe the permit should be extended.

Buffalo Lake Energy is proposing building a 17-mile pipeline from its ethanol plant in Martin County to dispose water used for cooling into the river.

Currently, the wastewater is dumped into a ditch that flows into Center Creek and eventually into the Blue Earth River.

Because the creek goes dry at times, the MPCA believes there is a potential for environmental problems.

In July, Buffalo Lake’s variance permit to handle its wastewater expired. So, the company was told they must find an alternative. To read more of this article, see this week’s Register.