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Tests show Milton ethanol plant in compliance for emissions

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Stacy Vogel
November 5, 2009
— Results of a recent emissions test could show that United Ethanol is in compliance with all air emission standards.

But a Department of Natural Resources official said the plant remains out of compliance on some record-keeping issues, though the plant disputes that point.


The plant tested emissions from a boiler, fermentation scrubber and vent gas scrubber in August and September. The fermentation and vent gas scrubbers failed emission testing in February, and the boiler had tested over the limit for particulate matter in earlier testing.


This time, all results met compliance standards, according to information the plant recently sent to the DNR and released publicly Tuesday.


The DNR still has to review the results, said Brian Barbieur, air management engineer. If the results are accurate and complete, they show the plant is compliant on all emissions standards, he said.


But the plant still is non-compliant on some record-keeping issues, he said. Earlier studies, including a June 2008 report, found the plant out of compliance on many record-keeping and reporting issues.


“When they receive a notice of violation, they are deemed to be noncompliant until they demonstrate they are in compliance,” Barbieur said. “They haven’t sent me anything, so I have nothing to say, ‘OK, they’re in compliance now.’”


The plant believes it is in compliance, said Dori Lichty, United Ethanol spokeswoman.


“At this point, we are not aware of such (record-keeping) noncompliance,” she wrote in an e-mail to the Gazette. “If Mr. Barbieur would care to specify, we will promptly look into the matter.”


Records are important because they demonstrate the plant is operating under the same conditions in which it conducted emission testing, thus showing they are still meeting emission limits, Barbieur said.



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