Aemetis reaches permitting milestone for cellulosic plant

By Aemetis Inc. | March 22, 2018

Aemetis, Inc. announced today that the company achieved a major milestone by completing the key federal and state agency permitting and environmental approvals for construction of the cellulosic ethanol plant in Riverbank, California.

Aemetis has received its Finding of No Significant Impact under the National Environmental Policy Act. This approval further confirms the previously received California Environmental Quality Act approval.

“Receiving both CEQA and FONSI approvals are the key permitting milestones for federal loan programs at this scale, including the pending $125 million USDA 9003 loan guarantee,” said Eric McAfee, chairman and CEO of Aemetis.

After signing a 55 year lease agreement at the Riverbank site in February 2017, Aemetis began the process of obtaining CEQA approval, a requirement for any construction activities in California. We believe that approval under the strict CEQA environmental review process reflects positively on the environmental attributes of the Riverbank plant. Today, the agricultural waste used in the production process is burned, which contributes to pollution in one of the worst air quality districts in the country. The Aemetis project mitigates this burning by converting waste orchard wood and nut shells into clean, below zero carbon, renewable advanced cellulosic ethanol.

The federal FONSI approval was achieved after months of intense review of the environmental impacts of the cellulosic ethanol facility, including impacts on construction, noise, vehicle traffic, air quality, solid waste management, coastal resources, historic properties and historic preservation, biological resource, farmland protection, and water quality in addition to other environmental reviews. All of these environmental considerations were found to be either unaffected or minimally affected within strict parameters. The FONSI applied to both the construction and operations of the cellulosic ethanol facility.