Description: Challenge to agency’s refusal to require environmental impact statement for ethanol facility.
Olmstead County Concerned Citizens v. Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 12/07/2010 Opinion Download Opinion issued. A company sought to construct and operate a 75-million-gallon-per-year ethanol plant which would rely on process water from two production wells for its water needs. The process water would be recycled on-site and reused. A citizens’ group challenged the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s decision not to require an environmental impact statement (EIS) for the project. Among other things, the citizens’ group alleged that the environmental assessment did not adequately address increased greenhouse gas emissions from indirect impacts like corn production used for ethanol. The state district court granted summary judgment on behalf of the agency. The appellate court affirmed, holding that it was not arbitrary or capricious not to include such an analysis given that the long-term effects of ethanol production were relatively unknown.