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Bion Official Offers Update On Slaughterhouse Proposal

OSWEGO, NY – Bion Environmental Technologies is moving ahead with a plan for a slaughterhouse and ethanol facility located somewhere in Oswego County.

After a lukewarm reception initially in the summer of 2009, Schroeppel expressed an interest in the project last fall.

Jeff Kapell points out some of the details regarding Bion's project.
Jeff Kapell points out some of the details regarding Bion's project.

The town of Schroeppel has been “very receptive” in terms of wanting to understand and learn more about the proposal, according to L. Michael Treadwell, director of Operation Oswego County.

The company is proposing to build a huge beef slaughter operation somewhere in the county; Schroeppel is one option, but the company will entertain other proposals if offered.

The project, if accepted in the county, is still more than a year or two away, according to Jeff Kapell, vice president project development.

Kapell presented a brief update at the Operation Oswego County offices.

He said the project is a good thing, looking at the number of jobs it will bring the county.

It would also be a benefit for county farmers, he added. If the project becomes a reality, it would mean a large new market for county hay and corn farmers, Kapell noted.

Under the proposal, there would be more than 70,000 head of cattle housed somewhere in the county. There would be an estimated 600 direct jobs created, about 400 of those would be at the process plant, Kapell said. They will be full-time jobs, he added.

“This type of activity typically has a spin-off impact creating other jobs,” he said.

Bion has been very open about wanting to meet with various groups within the county to discuss their concept, Treadwell said.

“This is an on-going process of trying to inform the community and allow for an exchange of information,” he said.

There were concerns about various issues, including water and air pollution due to the large amount of cattle that would be involved.

“It is critical that this project be transparent to the community,” Kapell said.

In fact, he added, Bion has established a web site “with a lot of good information” and includes a place for the general public to post questions.

“We really wanted to establish a mechanism whereby the folks in the community could ask their questions in an open way and the responses they got would be transparent. We need to do everything we can to maintain an open dialogue.”

It is an industrial activity, he said of the project.

The project would be “closed-loop.” It would use animal waste to make energy to power the ethanol plant, use ethanol waste to feed the cattle and slaughter and package the beef to sell to consumers throughout the Northeast.

Bion is currently incorporating its waster-treatment technology at a dairy farm in Lancaster County, Pa. (which which is in permitting right now, not up and running).

The EPA will review the success of this project, Kapell said.

“It’s the same technology we’re talking about up here,” he said. “The only concern is how well does the waste treatment perform. We have said from the beginning that a condition for us moving forward ought to be that we get this report back and look at the results in order to ensure that this technology will do what we say it will do.”

The project won’t stop while the testing is going on, Treadwell pointed out.

“They will still be looking for potential sites. They will be doing a lot of additional research and funding sources will be pursued,” he said.

“We’re looking at a year to two years before we can even engage in environmental review; construction will be another year and a half or so,” Kapell said. “We’re talking about a very large, very complex project. It’s going to take a long, long time to develop.”

To find out more details, or to ask questions, go to www.bionoswegoproject.com

1 Comment

  1. Why would we want to produce the worst kind of ethanol, that made from corn? Please read the following information I received from Senator Schumer:

    Thank you for your letter regarding corn ethanol production. I share your concerns about the potential negative effects of this technology, and I am working to protect our environment and economy from any potential damage that it might cause.

    Ethanol made from corn has been sold to the public as a panacea – as a “green” source of energy, and one that will secure America’s future by finally making us “energy independent.” Unfortunately, the rosy picture painted of corn ethanol by Midwestern corn conglomerates is not accurate. Rather than being environmentally friendly, the production of corn ethanol releases as much carbon into the atmosphere as traditional petroleum fuels. Furthermore, corn production introduces pesticides and fertilizers into the environment. And far from promoting energy independence, the shipping and manufacturing of corn ethanol requires as much petroleum as it takes to make the ethanol itself. Finally, our rush to produce ethanol has diverted corn away from other important uses. Short supplies of corn have put a huge strain on farmers, who are watching the cost of animal feed skyrocket. America’s demand for corn is raising the specter of food shortages throughout the poorer regions of Mexico and Central and South America. The unfortunate truth is that corn ethanol provides no environmental, economic, or security benefit over petroleum, and it raises serious ethical concerns about our obligations towards our neighbors.

    But while corn ethanol is not the miracle fuel that we were promised, other plant-based “biofuels” do have the potential to protect the environment and reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil, without putting strains on American agriculture or other countries’ food supplies. Technology to produce ethanol from cellulosic plant fibers in non-food plants, such as switch grass or trees, is being developed. I am proud that New York is home to several of the most advanced cellulosic-ethanol companies, and I am working to bring federal research grants to these companies and the New York universities with which they work to increase the pace at which they develop the technology that all America needs. I voted for H.R. 6, the Renewable Fuels, Consumer Protection, and Energy Efficiency Act of 2007. This bill establishes a grant program within the Department of Energy to research cellulosic ethanol and other advanced biofuels.

    I am excited at the possibility of fuel made from plants, and I look forward to a day when biofuels make up a significant part of America’s energy stock. The faster that we are able to develop cellulosic ethanol and other truly “green” fuels, the sooner we can abandon corn ethanol and return corn production to its best use: food.

    Thank you for taking the time to contact me on this important issue. I hope that you will contact me again if there is ever anything that I can do for you on this or any other issue.

    Sincerely,

    Charles E. Schumer
    United States Senator

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