PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER: (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: Erin Strouse
CITIZEN CONTACT: Kristopher Weiss

Ohio EPA to Hold Hearing On Draft Air Permits for Franklin Co. BioEnergy Facility Expansion

Ohio EPA will hold a public hearing on Mon., Feb. 27, 2012, at 6 p.m. about two draft air permits issued to Central Ohio BioEnergy (formerly known as quasar Energy and Schmack BioEnergy LLC), located at 2500 Jackson Pike, Columbus.

One permit would modify the operation of a smaller biogas engine and outdoor receiving areas. The second permit would expand the anaerobic digester system. The hearing will be held at Columbus Metropolitan Library, South High Branch, 3540 S. High St.

The anaerobic digester system expansion would include installing a second emergency flare and 2.5-million-gallon digester tank. The facility would continue venting air in the system through an additional biofilter to minimize possible odors.

Before issuing the draft air permits, Ohio EPA reviewed the company’s applications to ensure that emissions would comply with federal and state air pollution control standards, laws and regulations. The draft air permits establish emission limits to protect public health and the environment.

Facility-wide emissions would be allowed to increase approximately 11 tons per year (tpy) of carbon monoxide, 16 tpy of sulfur dioxide, four tpy of nitrogen oxides, 26 tpy of volatile organic compounds and one tpy of particulate matter. Consistent with current facility operations, actual emissions are expected to be less than maximum permitted emissions.

Ohio EPA places a high priority on public involvement and encourages citizens to become involved in the decision-making process. The public can submit comments for the record about the draft air permits during the hearing. The purpose of the hearing is to obtain additional information that will be considered before Ohio EPA issues or denies final air permits.

Ohio EPA will equally consider written comments on the draft air permits received through Feb. 28. Interested parties can send comments to Barbara Walker or Ohio EPA’s Central District Office (50 W. Town St., Suite 700, Columbus, Ohio 43215). Interested parties also may write to this address for more information.

The draft air permits are available online. Also, arrangements can be made to review and/or copy the permits and related material at the above address by first calling (614) 728-3778 or (800) 686-2330.

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