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Bushmills Ethanol Plans Expansion Pending MPCA Review

  • Thursday, 12 January 2017 08:08

West Central Tribune

January 10, 2017

By Tribune News

Pending the outcome of an environmental review, Bushmills Ethanol Inc. near Atwater will expand its facilities and increase annual production of denatured ethanol from 65 million gallons a year to 100 million gallons.

Public comments on the project will be accepted until Feb. 8.

Bushmills, a cooperative comprised of 415 farmers, owns a dry mill plant about 1½ miles west of Atwater that began operating in December of 2005.

The proposed expansion, which includes four new 730,000-gallon fermenters and several smaller above-ground storage tanks to be built on the plant's nearly 81-acre site, would add 3.3 acres of new impervious surface to the facility site.

According to the worksheet, the existing ponds on the Bushmills property are large enough to handle additional stormwater runoff.

The amount of corn processed at the plant would increase from 25 million to 38.5 million bushels per year and the amount of water used at the plant would go from 216 million gallons to 225 million gallons per year.

Besides increasing local demand for corn and production of ethanol by 35 million gallons a year, the proposed project would also increase production of dried distillers grain and wetcake that would benefit local livestock farmers, according to Bushmills.

As required by state rules, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency prepared an environmental assessment worksheet on the proposal that provides basic information about how the project could potentially affect the environment.

The worksheet also helps determine whether a more comprehensive environmental review is needed.

The worksheet for the project is available on the MPCA's environmental assessment worksheet web page; at the MPCA Willmar office, 1601 U.S. Hwy. 12 E.; at the Willmar Public Library, 410 Fifth St. S.W.; or by calling Kevin Kain at 651-757-2482.

The public may submit written comments on the project until 4:30 p.m. Feb. 8.

Written comments may be sent via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or mailed to him at the MPCA, 520 Lafayette Road N., St. Paul, MN 55155-4194.

Read the original story: Bushmills Ethanol Plans Expansion Pending MPCA Review