Clearfield Planning Commission Makes Way for BioEnergy

CLEARFIELD – The Clearfield Borough Planning Commission gave the green light Monday night for the next step in the process to build an ethanol plant in Clearfield Borough.

The planning commission approved a lot consolidation request for BioEnergy International LLC and its subsidiary, Bionol Clearfield.

Jeff Ream of Gannett Fleming Inc.’s Clearfield office said, “It’s a pretty straightforward consolidation plan.”

The lots are all at the Clearfield Technology Park, located off of Bigler Avenue. The affected lots are parts of old lots 5, 6 and 7 as well as two lots owned by David and Elizabeth Fulesday.

“This is the only combination of properties in the county that I’m aware of that makes this project possible,” Ream said.

Ream noted that BioEnergy has until Sept. 15 to have all permits in place. A hearing is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Aug. 28 at the St. Francis School for the Department of Environmental Protection to hear public comment on the air quality application.

“Our client is basically at the end of their rope,” Ream said. “It’s either the site here and now or no project.”

After obtaining the borough planning commission’s approval, Ream said he plans to submit the plan to the Clearfield County Planning Commission this week.

The consolidation plan also calls for the current access road to the technology park to be vacated and another road to be built at East Sixth Street. That matter is set to be advertised before final approval can come in September.

Ream answered several questions from Clearfield Borough Planning Commission Chairman Bill Armstrong, notably about noise and odors from the facility.

Ream said that most of the noise will be contained on the site with the noise that escapes “not considered a nuisance.” The odors, Ream said, are described as baking bread by BioEnergy.

“I think it’s long been past time when Clearfield needed some economic development,” Armstrong said.

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