Enforcement

Agri-Energy, L.L.C. Ethanol CAA Settlement

In 2002, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began investigating a suspected pattern of noncompliance with the Prevention of Serious Deterioration/ New Source Review (PSD/NSR) requirements of the Clean Air Act (CAA) within the ethanol industry.The Clean Air Act's NSR program requires a source to install pollution controls and undertake other pre-construction obligations to control air pollution emissions. Subsequent investigations of several companies in the ethanol industry found them to be in violation for failure to obtain either PSD or minor source permits for new construction and/or modifications made at twelve facilities in Minnesota.

The ethanol industry sector manufactures ethanol for blending with automobile fuel, principally from industrial corn. Ethanol's high oxygen content allows automobile engines to combust fuel better, resulting in reduced tail pipe emissions. During the ethanol manufacturing process, dry mills burn off gasses which emit volatile organic compounds and carbon monoxide into the air.