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Environment


Ag secretary boosts Lorain County biodigester
Waste-water plant will operate with energy from municipal waste
by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE
and JEFF ST. CLAIR


Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
 
In The Region:

Clarification: Akron was among the earliest Ohio cities to adopt the technology.  The Sheffield digester is the first in the region funded by USDA's REAP program.

A town in Lorain County is about to become one of the first communities in Northeast Ohio to power its waste-water treatment plant with another kind of waste.

The French Creek Waste Water treatment plant in Sheffield Village plans to bring a biodigester on line this spring. It uses bacteria in an environment devoid of oxygen to turn municipal waste into methane gas – and eventually into electricity that will run the treatment plant.

The biodigester is being built with the help of more than 2 million dollars in federal loans and grants. And in an interview this morning (Monday), U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says the investment is worthwhile.

Sect. Vilsack talks about the federal emphasis

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“We’re going to continue to try to fund those types of projects because it’s about energy efficiencies, it’s about jobs. Somebody has to make these types of digesters. Someone has to maintain them. And it obviously improves the bottom lines for those who use them.”

Seventy waste-water plants around the country use the biodigesters. They include plants in Columbus, Zanesville and Haviland in western Ohio. Akron also started using biodigesters about four years ago.

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