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Ethanol Plant Opposition May Run Out of Gas

Posted April 2, 2007

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— Cumberland County residents who don't want a new ethanol plant built nearby learned Monday that their ability to lobby commissioners to block the plant is seriously hampered.

About 100 opponents piled into a Board of Commissioners meeting Monday, hoping to convince commissioners to deny $875,000 in tax incentives which, in turn, would prevent E85 from building north of Fayetteville. But commissioners read a letter from E85 in which the company said it is no longer seeking tax relief.

"It may be their way of getting around a public denial," plant opponent Del Crawshaw said.

Dennis Freeman, who owns land near the site of the proposed plant, said he and other residents weren't told about the company's plans to build the until the last minute.

"Everything that has been going on with this thing has been hushed under the table," Freeman said. "I think it's a done deal."

County commissioners said E85 already has its air quality permit. The company still needs to buy the land and receive its building permit.

E85 wants to educate area residents in hopes of getting them on board with plans for the plant, company spokeswoman Audrey Whaley said. Public information sessions would include experts to discuss various aspects of the ethanol production process and community impacts like traffic and odor concerns, environmental effects and safety issues, she said.

"We are concentrating on the first phase of the project, which is informing the community of our plans, processes and safety measures," Whaley said. "Once we implement our multi-week educational campaign, we’ll set a groundbreaking date to occur before end of year."

Some residents are considering legal action to see if there is anything they can do to prevent the construction of the ethanol plant.

"My children live on this side of town, and my grandchildren. It's very emotional for me," plant opponent Melba McLemore said.

Kenneth Edge, chairman of the board of commissioners, said he opposes the proposed plant but said there's little the board can do and residents will have to battle on their own.

"They can voice their opinion to E85. It's in their ballpark now," Edge said. "They can pursue legal and political action. That's a fight many communities have done before. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose."


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  • RYANROCCO Apr 12, 2007

    you people boo hoo too much. this will bring in jobs and funds this horrible town needs to get it to where it needs to be. stop complaining and just deal with it.

  • Jackaroo Apr 10, 2007

    What technology since the 70's? If so, why, 30 years later, will our motors and fuel delivery systems suffer not support it ? Are those sources independent of the energy industry? What about CO2 ? The air permit does not regulate odor or CO2, now does it ? I'm a long way from Fayetteville...I just think this plant should also be a long way from Fayetteville, or any other city in NC. I was in the economic development profession, recruiting industry...I know how slippery the truth is. Good luck folks...

  • Wakenative Apr 9, 2007

    As the abstract for this article states, the technology has been in use since the 1970's in the petroleum industry. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6V2P-4DR1MHD-8&_user=10&_coverDate=07%2F01%2F2005&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=f791f0d5ce3cb7d76371fee614190eb4
    And the obligation the Indian company would have, would be to the State in order to keep operating. And yes it pains me that I can't use an ethanol blend in my Subaru, which is not engineered as an AFV (which by the way doesn't have the best emissions ratings for its class).

  • gladys Apr 8, 2007

    One more thing:

    Ask why the Seattle based company doesn't build it in their backyards?

  • gladys Apr 8, 2007

    No matter what they say about odor - there is NO WAY to contain it to their site!

    REMEMBER, too, their experts are BOUGHT & PAID for.

    You are ALREADY paying for the 119 ethanol plants in the US. You are ALREADY paying for the farmers to earn their living.

    If the plants in the midwest are using the corn within a 60 mile radius of their locations, where will you get yours? Is there really enought corn to go around?

    KEEP FIGHTING - This is WRONG to have a REFINERY forced down your throats without BACKUP of the statements. KEEP RESEARCHING - You can prevail!

  • gladys Apr 8, 2007

    "County commissioners said E85 already has its air quality permit. The company still needs to buy the land and receive its building permit."

    I'm confused as to how a company can obtain an air permit if they don't have a location? Should't the permits be specific to a location? Don't they do any testing?

  • Jackaroo Apr 5, 2007

    One more thought...alot of us fought an ethanol plant proposal in '01, that would be on Radio Island (Carteret Co), less than 3/4 mile between historic Beaufort and Morehead City, sponsored by State Commerce, local EDC, and the State Ports Authority. It was defeated. This plan is equally bad. The officials then misled and with-held vital information. You can expect a similar scenario to follow in Fayetteville.

  • Jackaroo Apr 5, 2007

    My car and boat motor warranties are voided if I use an ethanol blend, as are most. And my car is a 2005 4 cylinder Suburu, and my boat motor is a 50 HP fourstroke Susuki , both fuel injection, ...both the best available technologies for polution emissions, and fuel savings.

  • Jackaroo Apr 5, 2007

    Why I am against it...the technology is NOT available to capture CO2, a major player in greenhouse gasses. IF the tech becomes available in future years (many), what obligation will this Indian based company have to install it?
    There will no windfall in taxes, as a great majority of the process qualifies as recycling and is tax exempt in NC. They all smell...I have visited two, personally. Property values nearby WILL be hurt. If you do not ask the tuff questions reg prospective impacts and obligations, you will not get the answers from the State or local economic development "professionals". I live 75 miles away, and will not be impacted, except for ripple effect of adding a demand of 40 million bushels of corn to the mix...a major feedstock for much of the meat we eat to dog
    food and dozens of other products. Farmland is disappearing. If we add more corn production, then some other product ( and us) will suffer. Net savings in energy is minimal if you follow the entire cycl

  • Wakenative Apr 5, 2007

    Anyway, I believe what the folks are talking about is Carbon Sequestering and is currently being experimented with in the Oil and Gas industry as a way to maintain reservoir pressures while reducing the amount of CO2 pollution from their operations. The EU is also working on this as their Carbon Banking (or whatever it's called)program. But the technology is in it's infancy and does have some development and research in its future.