Ethanol Plant in Tampa discussed

04/12/07 Mitch E Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday | Listen to this entire show:

The Tampa City Council heard more information today about an ethanol plant to be built at Port Sutton that has local residents concerned about noxious odors.


The company EnviroFuels was issued a Construction Permit a year ago to build the plant.  They plan on beginning construction next month.


But there have been concerns, specifically from residents in Davis Islands and Harbor Island, about the smell the plant could produce when operation.  But according to Sterling Wooding from the Hillsborough County Environmental Protection Commission, the time when the public really had a chance to express those  concerns has already passed (roll tape#1 o.q.” additional public hearing”)


However, he said that if USEnviroFuels elects to, they could still hold another public hearing.


Sterling Wooding from the County EPC said that there IS a provision in the Construction Permit that they can NOT cause ‘objectionable’ odors.  He said that the EnviroFuels Plant is considered to be a State of the Art Facility designed to prevent such objectioniable odors, but if complaints came, his department would investigate (roll tape#2 o.q.”including enforcement”)


But In 2005, the Port Authority’s Environmental Affairs Director wrote that odors could be a problem for the 2 South Tampa neighborhoods.  David Parsch wrote at the time “I’m convinced there would be some odor – a combination of a brewery and any feedstock drying operation’.


To fully operate, the plant will also use water – lots of it - everyday. Approximately 800,000 gallons a day.   City Councilwoman Mary Mulhern inquired if the Plant would use reclaimed water.  (roll tape#3”to do that”)


That’s not in the plans right now, because the Port of Tampa is not equipped  to receive reclaimed water.  Councilman John Dingfelder suggested that Us EnviroFuels  work with the City’s Water Department to pay to allow that to happen (roll tape#4 o.q.”that you bring up”)


Permitting for the The Ethanol Plant has gone thru the state and Hillsborough County.

City Councilwoman Linda Saul-Sena expressed frustration , because she said the City

Was left with little oversight, yet potentially its negative effects can affect Tampa Citizens (roll tape#5 o.q.”way in on the process”)


IF the plant is built, it would be the first of its kind in Florida, if not the entire Southeast.   The next closest plan operating is in Tennessee.  Us EnviroFuels intends on using corn from the MidWest to produce Ethanol at the plant.


US EnviroFuels President Bradley Krohn told the website Ethanol Fuel Now that this represents an opportunity for Florida growers (roll tape#1 o.q”locally grown crops”)

Krohn has also said that the Tampa plant plans to dry  wet cake – the foul smelling byproduct of ethanol production.  Wet cake  is a byproduct of breweries and other distilleries can be used as feed for cattle or dried and sold as a distiller's grain for livestock  

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