The US Department of Agriculture has issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) on the environmental assessment report for Velocys’ planned Bayou Fuels biorefinery in Natchez, Mississippi.
Velocys is describing the FONSI as a significant step towards the permitting of the Bayou Fuels facility. It was issued as part of the company’s ongoing development of the 100-acre site.
According to a statement from the company, the 160-page environmental assessment report details the impact of the proposed facility across 15 potential aspects including land use, water resources, air quality, wildlife, visual impact, noise, transport and public and occupational health.
Velocys states that for each of the 15 aspects, the report concluded the plant would have “none”, “none to minor” or “minor” impacts during construction and operation.
No opposing or negative comments were filed as part of the USDA’s public consultation process.
“This is a great step forward for a project that is a natural fit for the local resource base and economy,” said Chandler Russ, executive director – Economic Development for Natchez/Adams County.
“The USDA assessment should ease considerably the process for obtaining additional permits, and other project development activities.”
The Bayou Fuels biorefinery will be Velocys’ first in the US. It will use the company’s technology to produce low-carbon transportation fuels from the wood wastes of lumber operations and tree plantations. The plant is expected to convert locally-sourced woody biomass waste into enough renewable fuel to meet the demands of running around 40,000 diesel and gasoline trucks.
“This is a significant step in the permitting of the Bayou Fuels biorefinery as well as an important milestone for the overall development of the project,” said David Pummell, CEO of Velocys.
“The environmental assessment provides independent confirmation that the project will not give rise to any significant environmental impacts and reflects our commitment to responsible and safe project development.”