EGLE shift may spell closure for facility
In an email sent to their customers Generate Upcycle who operate the Fremont Regional Digester stated they will cease to accept materials at the Fremont facility as of December 29th.
The action taken is due to a change in the interpretation of regulations by the Water Resource Division of Michigan’s Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE). The digestate produced at the facility and distributed for years as fertilizer has been recently classified as a pollutant by the agency.
The closure of the Digester would mean the loss of 17 jobs but the larger picture points to a significant economic effect to our region particularly with regard to the Gerber plant, a primary user of the facility and the local farms that have benefitted from the easy access to the fertilizer the Digester produces.
From the email:
“Although this situation is unfortunate, we believe there is still an opportunity for Michigan to lead in this industry. Our primary goal is to partner with state policymakers to adopt a long-term regulatory framework that recognizes anaerobic digestion as a safe, sustainable, and beneficial technology vital to achieving the State of Michigan’s waste, energy, and climate goals. A new regulatory framework is critical to developing common sense, data-driven standards that reflect the process and outputs of recycling food waste, generating organic fertilizer for local farms, and producing clean, renewable energy to support Michigan’s economy.”
Supporters of keeping the Digester open might consider reaching out to our people in Lansing, State Senator Rick Outman and State Rep. Joe Fox. Even though the legislature is closed until January, a truly lengthy Holiday Break, perhaps they might be willing to look into this.