Environment and Health

This web page was last modified June 27, 2012 at 4:46 PM.

Although the raw materials utilized in an ethanol plant can come mainly (but not exclusively) from agricultural sources, ethanol production is an industrial process. Like all industrial processes, emissions are a fact of life around an ethanol facility. In addition to emissions, the noise levels, increased traffic, effects on watersheds, glare from lighting, effects on wildlife and so on, all have their impact on the surrounding community.

Table of Contents

  1. EPA ’s rulemaking is inadequate
  2. Ethanol plants to emit more pollution
  3. Coal as cheaper energy source in ethanol production
  4. The Bucket Brigade
  5. 2004 Inventory
  6. All data 1992-2004
  7. Children's Health
  8. Air Quality
  9. Other environmental considerations
  10. Agencies charged with formulating and enforcing environmental standards
  11. General resources

Wisconsin Joins EPA Clean Air Act Lawsuit

EPA ’s rulemaking is inadequate

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April 20th, 2006 – ATTORNEY GENERAL PEG LAUTENSCHLAGER ANNOUNCES STATES SUE EPA FOR VIOLATING CLEAN AIR ACT AND REFUSAL TO TAKE ACTION ON GLOBAL WARMING – Wisconsin Department of Justice press release The Clean Air Act requires that the EPA review and revise emission standards applicable to new pollution sources every eight years to ensure that they protect public health and the environment. On February 27, 2006, EPA issued revised regulations in accordance with a court order. However, the revised standards completely fail to regulate power plant emissions of carbon dioxide, a major contributor to global warming. In addition, the revised standards for other air pollutants that are harmful to public health are unacceptably lax.

Environmental Protection Agency Proposes Loosening Rules

Ethanol plants to emit more pollution

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May 3rd, 2006 – Group of the usual Congressional corn ethanol boosters sign a letter in support of a proposal by Bush appointees in the EPA to, in effect, reclassify fuel ethanol plants from "chemical process plants" into a category more akin to "beverage alcohol plant". This would raise the current limits of 100 tons per year each of various regulated emissions to 250 tons per year.

February 28th, 2006 – Fact Sheet — Proposed Changes to Treatment of Corn Milling Facilities Under Clean Air Act Permitting Programs EPA fact sheet

EPA ’s air permitting programs rely upon emissions thresholds to determine when program requirements would apply. If a facility emits target air pollutants in amounts greater than the threshold, requirements to obtain permits that outline emissions controls would apply. This proposed definition change would establish the same emissions thresholds for all wet and dry corn milling facilities regardless of whether the ethanol end product is used for fuel or human consumption — 250 tons per year for the PSD permitting program. The thresholds for NSR and Title V programs would remain at current levels.
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Coal–Fired Ethanol Plants?

Coal as cheaper energy source in ethanol production

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Editorial cartoon shows politician standing between two barrels, one labeled Oil with caption Bad CO2, the other barrel labeled Ethanol with caption Good CO2

March 23, 2006 – Carbon Cloud Over A Green Fuel by Mark Clayton – Christian Science Monitor An Iowa corn refinery, open since December, uses 300 tons of coal a day to make ethanol.

Empowering Citizens Within Their Own Communities

The Bucket Brigade

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The Bucket Brigade  assists citizens to monitor air quality in their own communities by providing access to low-cost sampling devices and testing capabilities.

2004 Cambria Air Pollutant Inventory

2004 Inventory

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All data 1992-2004

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Health And Environmental Issues Related To Ethanol Production

Children's Health

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Air Quality

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Other environmental considerations

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Agencies charged with formulating and enforcing environmental standards

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General resources

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