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To the editor:
There are several areas that bother
me about the information Mr. Wrage shared with you during the
["Can an ethanol plant be a good neighbor?"]
First of all, Bio-Energy told us
during our first meeting that they had no intention of fencing the
plant area. Now, they say that might be necessary. How could anyone
imagine such a facility without proper security?
Second, during our first meeting, it
was stated there would be no waste or process water to dispose of;
all would go out their stack.
At our meeting the other night,
after considerable questioning, it was admitted that there would be
about 170,000 gallons of water going into Brainard Branch. First to
a settling pond that would only be a couple feet deep, then to
Brainard Branch. In any case, the water would be going to Brainard
Branch. How can this be so insignificant when the little creek
floods with reasonable rainfall?
Third: This is the first mention I
have heard of Bio-Energy offering to buy the two homes east of their
plant site. Unless I have missed something in the conversations I've
had with the owners of those houses, they are not aware of such a
Fourth: After our meeting the other
night, our second meeting, I spoke with the three Bio-Energy
representatives at length. I expressed to them that they had about a
year's jump on our efforts, since they had been talking to folks
about this location for over a year. I told them that Mrs. Humphres,
whose father owns Camp-A-While Campground, was approached over a
year ago by Brian Wrage and asked if they could drill a small test
well on their property. All three folks from Bio denied that such
had happened. I told them I would call Mrs. Humphres the next day
and try to clarify. About five minutes later, Mr. Wrage said he had
forgotten about that, and in fact he had asked them the question and
was denied by Mrs. Humphres' father. The other two Bio
representatives went quite silent after the admission.
Fifth: Evidently we are supposed to
believe that the storage of over 2,000,000 gallons of ethanol,
30,000 gallons of propane, 50,000 to 60,000 gallons of gasoline,
sulfuric acid and other processing chemicals, stored in a coal-fired
facility, is not a danger to residents and school children residing
nearby. It was also expressed that if ethanol leaked into the creek
that we would merely have drunk fish. Wrong -- the fish would be
dead from lack of oxygen.
[to top of second column in this letter]
The worst case here is the control
of outside contractors that would be in this facility to do
maintenance work, or truckers carrying propane to refill the propane
tanks, or gasoline trucks coming in to refill gas tanks. Bio-Energy
has no control or very limited influence on these folks' actions.
The explosive nature of ethanol has
been downplayed. Fumes from ethanol mixed with air create an
explosive combination. This statement can be verified with any fire
Last of all, and I am sorry for the
extreme length of this e-mail, but -- water supply. If the mapping
of the aquifer is correct, Emden is in the mainstream of this
aquifer. As you move south of Emden, the aquifer develops ledges and
moves out of the mainstream. If this were not the case, then the
statement made by Bio regarding their unfavorable look at water
supply up by Bell Station would not be true. I believe their comment
when asked about the Bell Station location was -- water supply was
We see a lot of holes in the stories
from Bio-Energy and the continued lack of total information.
Bottom line, is the risk they are
willing to expose our residents to worth the price? Also, while the
location may be great for them, providing extra profit margins,
etc., just how good is it for the residents, schools and
environment? Traffic -- we are assuming a couple hundred trucks per
day will hardly be noticed. Using the numbers they have provided us
with, the number of trucks would be 120 per day plus, one way.
I surely hope more folks wake up and
realize just what is coming. The balance of the property, 150 acres
plus, is of course room for at least three more ethanol plants or
who knows what.
Thank you for listening. Feel free
to call or drop a note.
(Posted March 25, 2005)
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