by Mitchell Kirk
Management and lawyers for The Andersons’ Clymers ethanol plant are working to determine what impact the ruling of a recent Indiana Court of Appeals case regarding air pollutant emissions may have on the plant.
The Associated Press reports the case was brought upon by the Natural Resources Defense Council, which challenged the Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s reclassification of ethanol plants, allowing them to emit up to 250 tons of air pollutants rather than the 100-ton limit that applies to chemical process plants.
The Natural Resources Defense Council specifically challenged the reclassifications of POET Biorefining plants in North Manchester and Cloverdale. Although the Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s Office of Environmental Adjudication agreed with the environmental group, a Marion County court sided with POET’s appeal.
However, the Indiana Court of Appeals overturned that decision, stating the Indiana Department of Environmental Management failed to apply for permission from the Environmental Protection Agency, as dictated by federal law, to reclassify ethanol plants and allow for an increase in emissions.
An IDEM spokeswoman, Amy Hartsock, said the department is still conferring with attorneys as to whether or not to appeal. She did not reply to requests regarding whether or not IDEM would pursue getting EPA approval to reclassify the plants in the future.
Along with the two POET plants, four other ethanol plants in Indiana may be affected by the decision, including The Andersons’s Clymers ethanol plant south of Logansport. Each has a challenge pending with the Indiana
Office of Environmental Adjudication.
Debra Crow, corporate communications manager at The Andersons, Inc., said the company is working to determine what kind of impact the decision may have on the plant.
“Keeping in mind the ruling is just three days old, the attorneys for all parties involved are still working to determine the impacts and next steps,” Crow said in an email Friday. “In the meantime, we will continue to operate our Clymers facility in concert with our existing air permit.”
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