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RiverWright Buffalo Ethanol Plant, NY

STATUS: On hold

TYPE: Ethanol

OPPOSITION: Local residents

PROSPECTS: Indeterminable

BACKGROUND: RiverWright LLC planned to construct an ethanol plant on the Buffalo River. The  plant would employ 67 people  and produce 110 million gallons of ethanol per year. In April 2007, the Buffalo city Planning Board approved RiverWright's proposed $80 million ethanol plant on the Buffalo River. The Board voted not to require a more detailed environmental study.

Opponents of the project were concerned that the Board refused to further investigate concerns about potential noise, odors, rodents and other "quality of life" issues. They said the project was being "rubberstamped" and not getting the scrutiny it deserves. Residents of the Old First Ward insisted the plant will undermine living conditions and cause potential safety hazards. Others in the neighborhood expressed concerns about noise, smell and toxins. Not trusting the City's compliance with the environmental and safety review process, three nearby residents filed suit. RiverWright asked the court to dismiss the case. The court refused, and the legal challenge continues.

As of April 18, 2010, RiverWright put the project on hold, citing financial issues. As of May 2010, the developer applied for $8 million in stimulus funds set aside for Buffalo county.

SOURCES: The Buffalo News:;  
All Business: http://www.allbusiness.com/energy-utilities/renewable-energy-biofuels-ethanol/14297260-1.html;
Biz Journal: http://www.bizjournals.com/buffalo/stories/2010/05/10/daily31.html?surround=lfn

Last updated November 23, 2010