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EA-1789: Final Environmental Assessment

Construction and Operation of a Proposed Cellulosic Biorefinery, Alpena Prototype Biorefinery, Alpena, Michigan

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE or the Department) is proposing to provide $18 million of federal cost share funding to American Process, Inc. (API) to support the final design, construction, and start-up of a cellulose to ethanol biorefinery that would be located on property purchased from Decorative Panels International (DPI) in Alpena, Michigan (hereafter referred to as the Alpena Prototype Biorefinery (APB), the APB project or proposed project). API would purchase approximately 28 acres from DPI for the proposed project, including 1 acre of primarily unpaved industrial land adjacent to the DPI wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) on which it would construct the biorefinery. The remaining 27 acres of the project site includes the existing wastewater treatment plant and associated lagoons. This EA analyzes the potential environmental and socioeconomic impacts that would result from implementation of the Proposed Action (with DOE funding) and the No Action Alternative (without DOE funding), and evaluates the potential individual and cumulative effects of the Proposed Action. While it is possible that the project could be implemented without DOE financial assistance, that scenario would not provide for a meaningful No Action Alternative analysis, as it would be identical to the Proposed Action. For purposes of this assessment, the EA therefore evaluates, as the No Action Alternative, the potential impacts that would occur if the APB project were not built and operated. No other action alternatives are analyzed.