10% ethanol would pollute the air as much as a 350-megawatt coal-fired power plant and likely result in more counties being identified in ozone health advisories, a new study by the state Department of Natural Resources says.
However, supporters, including Gov. Jim Doyle, say the feared environmental impact pales in comparison to the economic boost for Wisconsin and the decrease in dependency on foreign oil.
Such a mandate would lead to higher volatile organic compound emissions and oxides of nitrogen emissions primary precursors for ozone formation, according to the study.
Oxides of nitrogen emissions, known as NOx, would then increase 1% to 2%, or up to 13 tons per day.
The added pollutants only cause concern on extremely hot days, which have numbered about 15 this year, he said.
Ethanol production contributes to air, water and soil pollution and consumes as much energy as it makes, they say. In addition, it reduces gas mileage in most vehicles by 2% to 3%.