The Environmental Protection Agency issued a final rule today that assures facilities producing ethanol for human consumption, industrial use or fuel are treated equally under Clean Air Act permitting requirements. Ethanol is produced at corn milling facilities for use as fuel, in industrial processes or for human consumption. While the processes are similar, these facilities have historically been treated differently under Clean Air Act permitting programs.
This final rule establishes the same emissions thresholds for new facilities that produce ethanol using a feedstock such as corn or sugar beets regardless of the product produced — 250 tons per year for the major source threshold. Industry leaders saw this as a crucial step of fixing the permit process and leveling the playing field for ethanol producers. Jeff Fox, Vice President of Legal and Government Affairs for South Dakota-based Poet said, "The EPA's decision allows dry-mill ethanol facilities to operate under standards equal to all other producers of ethanol in the country. Both types of facilities use the same process. Now the EPA will treat them equally."