The Bush administration has proposed allowing ethanol plants to send more hazardous air pollutants into the air. Is this a practical attempt to increase domestic production of alternative fuel sources? The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a rule that would raise the emissions threshold for corn milling plants that produce ethanol fuel, the agency announced Wednesday. Thus, it is allowing those plants to emit up to 250 tons per year of air pollutants before triggering tougher restrictions on production.
Currently, corn milling plants can emit 100 tons of pollutants per year. It is since last fall, Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., has been pushing the agency to make the change. It notes that corn milling plants that produce ethanol products for human consumption had a higher emissions threshold than those that produce ethanol fuel.