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Green Plains shuts plant, faces ethanol downturn

Green Plains Inc, the nation’s fourth-largest ethanol producer, has permanently shuttered a Virginia production plant and cut output at several other facilities as it tries to navigate a supply glut that has pummeled biofuel profits. Green Plains announced that it was closing a plant in the town of Hopewell that had capacity to produce 60 million gallons annually. Thirty-one jobs will be cut, it said in a news release.

Turning human excrement into biofuel

team of researchers from Israel’s Ben Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) has demonstrated, for the first time, a technique for converting human excrement into hydrochar—a safe, renewable biomass fuel that resembles charcoal—as well as a nutrient-rich fertilizer.

Lawsuit: Ohio wind setbacks were adopted in violation of state constitution

A lawsuit filed this week over Ohio’s wind turbine setbacks centers on whether landowners, developers and others had a chance to be heard before the stricter terms were adopted as part of an eleventh-hour budget bill amendment in 2014.House Bill 483’s property line setbacks became part of a massive 2014 budget bill less than 24 hours before its passage by the Ohio Senate.Barely 10 minutes of discussion on the provisions took place on the Senate floor.That “tucked away” issue forms the basis for the plaintiffs’ constitutional challenge now.

Deepwater Horizon oil spill's dramatic effect on stingrays' sensory abilities

Marine fishes rely on their sensory systems to survive. A study is the first to quantify the physiological effects of whole crude oil on the olfactory function of a marine vertebrate -- the Atlantic stingray. Results of the study, confirm that exposure to crude oil, at concentrations mimicking those measured in coastal areas following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, significantly impaired olfactory function in the Atlantic stingray after just 48 hours of exposure.

Paulding County farmers, wind industry association sue state over restrictive wind setback law

A group of farmers in Paulding County has filed suit against the state of Ohio, alleging that the Ohio General Assembly violated the state constitution when it passed a dramatic increase in wind setback mandates. In a case joined by the wind industry, the farmers assert that the legislature passed the amendment in House Bill 483 in 2014 in a totally unrelated piece of legislation, which is in violation of the "single subject" rule. The legislature adopted the surprise mandate just before the bill's passage, without any opportunity for input from affected landowners.

Pipelines repeatedly cited by state regulators for environmental issues

As battles over two major natural gas pipelines play out in court, state regulators have continued to cite the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and Mountain Valley Pipeline for environmental problems.The Mountain Valley Pipeline has received 19 violation notices from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection for failing to comply with the project’s West Virginia/National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System general water pollution control permit.

DuPont sells Iowa ethanol plant to German company; it will soon make renewable natural gas

The DuPont cellulosic ethanol plant in Nevada will be sold to a German biofuels company's U.S. subsidiary, which plans to convert the plant to produce renewable natural gas.  Verbio North America Corp., the Michigan-based subsidiary of Verbio Vereinigte BioEnergie AG, will purchase the next-generation Iowa ethanol plant and a portion of its corn stover inventory. Verbio declined to provide a purchase price.The company expects to use corn stalks, husks and cobs to make the renewable natural gas, said Greg Northrup, president of Verbio's U.S.

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