Cilion Inc., aiming to be a major player in the ethanol industry thanks to backing of Vinod Khosla and Richard Branson's Virgin Fuels, is running into a bit of trouble getting one of its ethanol plants started. The deal is set to bring the plant to the location of the old Seneca Army Depot in Romulus, New York, but environmental advocates say that the plan will disrupt a herd of rare white deer that lives on the depot.
In the second stage of the plan, according to an article in the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle 4,500 acres would be turned into fields for growing willows and other plants to use as fuel to create heat and electricity that will be used to generate the ethanol. The chairman of Seneca White Deer, which protects and promotes the deer herd as a tourist attraction, said these 4,500 acres could destroy habitat and imperil the herd. Seneca County officials told the newspaper that the herd likely wouldn't be harmed by the plant. One consultant said the deer would probably feed on the crops grown for biomass, but plant officials say that's fine.

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[Source: Rochester Democrat & Chronicle / Diana Louise Carter and David Tyler]

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