By a 7-2 vote, the Chesapeake, Virginia city council has given the green light to what will be the nation’s largest biodiesel plant.
This story in the Virginian-Pilot says council members found the proposal to build Smiling Earth’s 320 million gallon refinery to be a lot less dangerous than the jet fuel and gasoline tanks already around the 30 homes in the neighborhood:
“In this case, we’re getting the benefit of a new company that’s going to be providing jobs, taxes and cleaning up a section of South Norfolk, and they’re not asking for anything from us,” said Councilwoman Patricia Willis. “That is just so unusual.”
If Smiling Earth follows through, the plant will be the country’s largest biodiesel producer. It will make 320 million gallons per year, more than the entire amount of the alternative fuel produced in the United States last year.
Company representatives say they will try to build the plant in nine months and want to have it running by next fall.
Smiling Earth is also doing its part to help the community as the company will put up $5 million to revitalize the community. Now, the company just has to come up with the funding to actually build the refinery.