EPA Biofuels Team Develops Manual Providing Ethanol Facility Guidance
Ethanol made from corn is the most common renewable fuel used by motor vehicles in the United States. More than five billion gallons were blended with gasoline in 2006, and with all the new ethanol facilities either built or planned, those billions will soon be a drop in the bucket as the industry gains increasing steam, especially in the Midwest. Because of such growth--in the plants and supporting infrastructure--EPA Region 7 has developed a user-friendly manual that identifies environmental regulatory rules and requirements for construction and operation of ethanol production facilities.
Region 7, which serves Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and nine tribal nations, intends the manual to serve as a road map of federal environmental information, such as requirements that apply to air, water, hazardous waste, accident prevention, and release reporting. A biofuels team of engineers, scientists, and environmental protection specialists developed the guide after seeking input from a variety of stakeholders. It includes a contact directory of key federal and state officials.
The manual is available at the Region 7 Agriculture page, http://www.epa.gov/region07/priorities/agriculture, which also includes links to other relevant articles, as well as transcribed interviews with EPA officials. The agency says its staff members are available to answer questions about the applicability of environmental requirements to renewable fuel facilities.