Commercial production of ethanol in the San Luis Valley, Colorado. Final Report Page: 84 of 222
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3.5.3 Impacts of the Proposed Project and Mitigation Measures
The effects of constructing and operating a commercial scale fuel grade
ethanol plant in the San Luis Valley, Colorado are described in this section. Possible
ways to mitigate any anticipated adverse impacts are discussed also. How biologic and
cultural resources will be affected by such a plant depending on the location are chosen.
Impacts on land use are also site-specific. These impacts, therefore, must be evaluated
after a site is selected.
18.104.22.168.1 Air Emissions
Exhaust emissions caused by opertion of heavy machinery and welding
are expected to be intermittent during the construction phase of the project. Heavy
equipment used for site excavation, grading and roadwork will generate dust. As noted
in section 22.214.171.124, particulate levels are the principal air quality concern in the San Luis
Valley at present. Wetting down the roads should minimize the problem (Kentucky
Agricultural Energy Company, undated).
Another potential impact on air quality will be release of hydrogen
sulfide during the testing of the geothermal wells. Preliminary estimates for the Baca
Geothermal Demonstration Project in New Mexico indicated that as much as 25 to
50 pounds per hour per well of hydrogen sulfide might be released during well testing
(United States Department of Energy, 1980). Until the quality of the geothermal brine
in the San Luis Valley is established, no realistic estimates of how much hydrogen
sulfide will be released during well testing are possible. The State of Colorado appar-
ently does not currently regulate hydrogen sulfide emissions. States in which extensive
geothermal development is occuring limit such emissions due to the odor associated
with release of the gas. In California, for example, the odor threshhold is 0.03 ppm.
Some people detect the odor when hydrogen sulfide emissions are below this threshhold
level. Note that the geothermal wells needed to supply the San Luis Valley plant would
be tested sequentially and intermittently, as opposed to simultaneously and con-
126.96.36.199.2 Labor Force
Oak Ridge National Laboratory estimated 280-375 "man-years" would
be needed to construct a 15.8 million gallon per year fuel alcohol plant. Peak construc-
tion work force would be 560. The construction period is estimated to be 12 months
(Oak Ridge National Laboratory, June 1981). The labor force required during drilling of
the geothermal wells may vary from 5 to 30 persons.
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Hewlett, E.M.; Erickson, M.V.; Ferguson, C.D.; Sherwood, P.B.; Boswell, B.S.; Walter, K.M. et al. Commercial production of ethanol in the San Luis Valley, Colorado. Final Report, report, July 1, 1983; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc874948/m1/84/: accessed December 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.