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County Commissioners support biodiesel study

August 09, 2006|by TARA REILLY

The Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday endorsed a study to determine whether it makes sense to build a biodiesel facility in the county.

The County Commissioners voted unanimously in support of a state grant of as much as $42,000 to go toward the cost of the study and agreed to contribute as much as $18,000 in county dollars.

The study is not expected to cost more than $60,000.

Hagerstown-Washington County Industrial Foundation Inc. (CHIEF) will do the study.

Chesapeake Bio-Energy LLC is considering several sites in the county for the alternative fuel facility.

The plant would crush more than 21 million bushels of soy beans to produce 30 million gallons of biodiesel fuel a year, as well as create soy coproducts, such as soybean meal, soy hulls and glycerin.

The company plans to create about 40 jobs and use locally grown and out-of-area soybeans.

Robin L. Ferree, of the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission, said the facility would require about 40 to 50 trucks per day.

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"Maybe it'll work out someday," Commissioner John C. Munson said. "We can use it in our county vehicles that are diesel and save some money."

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