Air Force opens comment period on Red Rock Biofuels draft EA

By Erin Voegele | January 07, 2016

The U.S. Air Force has opened a public comment period on its draft environmental assessment for the proposed Red Rock Biofuels LLC biorefinery in Lake County, Oregon.

The advanced biofuel project was one of three facilities awarded contracts under the U.S. Department of Defense’s Protection Act in September 2014 to construct and commission drop-in biofuels for military and private sector transportation needs. The proposed Red Rock Biofuels facility is expected to utilize woody biomass, producing 14 MMgy of transportation fuel using a Fischer-Tropsch process.

According to information published by the USAF, the Air Force Research Laboratory has developed a draft environmental assessment (EA) and draft finding of no significant impact (FONSI) to evaluate the development of the Red Rocks Biofuels facility.

The facility is expected to be located in the Lower Thomas Creek watershed. Work to be performed at the site is expected to include the extending of city utility services, installing a commercial-scale biorefinery with all required storage capacity, and attendant office space. A railroad extension spur and roadway access are also expected to be installed. According to the USAF notice, the project will require an approximate 3 mile extension of the existing Kinder Morgan Ruby Pipeline.

The Air Force consulted with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regarding potential impacts to wetlands and floodplains and invites the public to provide comments on any practicable alternatives that may reduce floodplain or other impacts.

Copies of the draft EA can be downloaded from the Air Force website. Comments are due Feb. 5.