U.S. Agencies Team Up to Study Biogas Systems

USDA Rural Development and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have formed an interagency partnership to support agricultural and business based renewable energy systems. This agreement is part of the Bush administration’s effort to increase teamwork in delivering services to rural America, according to the press release.

“This agreement is a triple play,” said Gilbert Gonzalez, who is the Agriculture Acting under secretary for Rural Development. “It’s good for the environment. It helps exploit a new energy source – one with high growth potential – of clean, renewable fuel to reduce our oil imports. And it’s good for the bottom-line of farmers, ranchers and small businesses.” The agreement provides for EPA technical support of USDA in reviewing systems for methane gas recovery via anaerobic digestion of animal waste. EPA will also consult on technical guidelines for USDA Rural Development initiatives encouraging more state-of-the- art digester technologies. USDA and EPA are also investigating expanding support to other areas. The partnership will promote use of anaerobic digestion technology in a way that enhances rural agricultural development, provides environmental benefits and increases farm revenues through the generation of renewable energy. “Energy production is an exciting growth sector for U.S. agriculture,” said Gonzalez, “and a strong rural economy, more jobs in rural areas, renewable energy production and a cleaner environment are all key elements of President Bush’s agenda. USDA Rural Development is committed to aggressive leadership on these initiatives.
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