Before decision, Idaho Commission requests more information on sorghum, biogas facility

By Olivia Weitz, Idaho Press-Tribune.

CALDWELL — The Canyon County Commissioners on Wednesday postponed making a decision on a $94 million sorghum and biogas manufacturing facility proposed on the outskirts of Parma.

After taking more than three hours of testimony during a public hearing, commissioners requested additional information and more time to consider all aspects of the project before making a decision. The commissioners agreed to continue the hearing and deliberation until April 4.

County leaders also asked the applicant, Treasure Valley Renewables, to provide a summary of similar projects that have been built elsewhere to help better understand the scope of the facility and its impacts.

Commissioners also want to know if Intermountain Gas Co. has agreed to accept natural gas created at the facility into its existing pipeline network.

“This is a very complicated issue as you have all pointed out to us,” said Canyon County Commission Chairman Tom Dale. “We want to make sure we make the right decision.”

In December, the Canyon County Planning and Zoning Commission recommended that commissioners deny the request to re-zone a 48-acre parcel of agricultural land a few miles northeast of Parma to accommodate the industrial project, and to change the comprehensive land map. Hearings held by the planning and zoning board drew plenty of opposition and concern from Parma residents.