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Eye On Boise

Otter-backed economic development project runs into objections from neighboring plant 500 yards away

A proposed $2 billion nitrogen fertilizer plant in American Falls that Gov. Butch Otter has touted as part of his economic development initiative has run into a snag – thanks to a neighboring business, a french fry plant that employs 600 people, and has filed an appeal of the fertilizer plant’s air quality permit, reports Rocky Barker of the Idaho Statesman. The new fertilizer plant would be 500 yards from the existing french fry plant, which has operated there for 50 years. The existing plant is raising concerns about the proposed fertilizer plant's effects on emergency preparedness, odor and water quality.

The natural gas-fired fertilizer plant would employ 170 people, Barker reports; his full report is online here. He reports that Otter has traveled around the world to help the New York company planning the fertilizer plant get investors for several years, including on his 2010 trade mission to China. The french fry plant is operated by Lamb Weston, a division of ag giant ConAgra.

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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