Colwich rethinks ethanol plant rezoning

Colwich rethinks ethanol plant rezoning

There are 5 comments on the The Wichita Eagle story from Jan 31, 2007, titled Colwich rethinks ethanol plant rezoning. In it, The Wichita Eagle reports that:

Colwich's planning and zoning commission has reversed an earlier decision and recommended that the city deny Abengoa Bioenergy's request to rezone a parcel of 120 acres to build an ethanol plant adjacent to its ...

Join the discussion below, or Read more at The Wichita Eagle.

Mary Ann Morrison

United States

#1 Feb 3, 2007
Thank you for the story. I have been a resident of Colwich for 17 yrs. The previous plant owners and AB have not been 'good neighbors'. If they want a new plant, completely close down AND clean out the old one.
Mary Ann Morrison

United States

#2 Feb 3, 2007
If not run correctly, ethanol plants are very dangerous health hazards for young children. Why do we need one so close to a residential area. If you want to build a new one and plan on doing minimal clean-up of the old one, you're going to have to be a better neighbor than that!

Overland Park, KS

#3 Feb 3, 2007
A. Ethanol is not in the environment

Abengoa Bioenergy, I am sure you have heard of them and thier votes from the citizens of Colwich, against building a new faciility. Abengoa is trying to acquire land to build a new plant, one with better technology. The plant now is over thirty years old and needs some new technology incorporated.
I would like to explain how a new plant has many more benefits than people think. People voting against Abengoa are not looking past their nose on their face. I believe many people just are not educated on how important the production of ethanol is to our state and to the US. Did you not hear our President during his State of the Union address? Try here:

Industry for our farmers, less dependancy on foreign fuel, less lives spared trying to keep a cap on that foreign fuel. Plus ethanol is cleaner burning fuel which is a benefit to those of us who are breathing and better for the life out of your car. Abengoa utilizes the city of Wichita, Wichita uses the water and sludge for land application, decreasing errosion and replenishing nutrients to the soil for crop growth. Abengoa also produce wet feed and syrup for the cattle industry, when ranchers in western Kansas had starving cattle we contacted the mayor of Dodge City to see what they could do. They also make the CO2 in the pop you are drinking. All of their biproducts are safe, they are either used or recycled.

I have a master's in public health and I think many people only see inside their own boxes. Perhaps they are worried about the decrease in the value of their homes? Well before many of the homes in Colwich were built the factories were already there. In fact their new facility is more efficient in controlling the environmental conditions that the people of Colwich complain about. Abengoa's pond system is the source of the bad smells which with their new facility that will not happen. It won't have ponds. In fact they are now treating the ponds in an environmentally safe way or else how could the ducks live on them?
The new facility looks nothing like the old plant, it even has pretty landscaping. Abengoa also pays the city of colwich a large amount of money every year. Notice they are building a new park? Also, Abengoa owns 40 more acres and a new plant will be built, it probably won't be as fancy as the one they wanted because the City of Colwich is voting against their land acquisition.
I grew up near Rainbow bakery and remember taking in that smell. They used grain, yeast, and fermentation process to make bread. Funny the process of milling grain and fermenting with yeast is biological process just like making bread. Ethanol is of benefit to the automobile industry (including your engine in your car), savings on filling up your car with gas, cleaner emissions, cleaner environment, and a more environmentally friendly plant. Personally, I don't feel like the people in Colwich have done their homework or listened to the news. What if ICM (researching ethanol) and Abengoa (makers of ethanol) left Colwich? I got to take a tour with Farm Bureau of Abengoa facility and I think what they are doing. Yeah in the past they had some violations. Too much CO2 in the air? Notice that is Epco that lets off the CO2. What does it hurt? Nothing, the plants use it....

Citizen of Colwich
Mary Ann Morrison

United States

#4 Feb 4, 2007
I pretty much agree with your statements. The 'new' plant should be great with all the new technological advances but we're not so much opposing the 'new' plant. We will still have to live with the 'ancient' plant and it does have ponds and fish kills. AB has been given money to clean that up and have they?
As for the new park, you must have different information that I have. The whole park project had nothing to do with AB. We have drain problems on First Street and this is to correct them.
As for ICM, they are a #1 producer, why won't AB use their products. Wouldn't that be a good neighbor as Chris Standlee proposes to be?

Haysville, KS

#5 Feb 9, 2007
Anyone that drives in internal combustion motor vehicle or uses petroleum in any way on a daily basis puts more pollutants into the air than this plant will. Ethanol reduces harmful air emissions so overall he ethanol plant will increase the quality of air. Increased truck and rail traffic? Come on if this plant is not built in Colwich then someone will build a plant that is serviced by the railroad that goes through Colwich and the same amount of rail traffic will be going through the town. Trucks will also still the same amount there is going to be the same overall amount of traffic with the plant it will just be more centralized. Fish Kills? I heard what John Getz the KDHE guy said about the supposed fish kill at ICM and from what I heard there was no evidence to any fault or contribution from the current ethanol plant. Cause cancer? Where are your facts? According to the EPA and KDHE there is no evidence to support anything even close to this. Scare tactics? I would think that you could come up with something halfway feasible if you were intelligent enough.

The Good:
In excess of $4,106,250 more per year from the increase in LOCAL grain prices to area farmers!
Over $500,000 per year to the Renwick School District from what the new plant will purchase in Natural Gas each year alone. This is only for Natural Gas and does not include all of the other money that will be coming in. The amount the city of Colwich will receive is also going to be massive compared to what they have coming in currently. Local area retailers? Well letís think about that. Double the workforce. Families moving into the area. Substantial!
The new facility will allow the old plant to eliminate the waste treatment ponds. And will treat incoming water from Cheney Lake instead of using well water. That way everyone will not have to worry about not having enough water for the lawn. Oh just a moment. I suppose that the people that are against the new plant do not water their lawns. How could anyone that concerned with the environment waste water on their lawn then is forced to use an internal combustion lawnmower with all of those cancer causing emissions to mow it. I am sure that there is no one that would do that in COLWICH!!!!!!!!!!

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