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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Biodiesel company is being sued in Florida

By Emily Pearce Moscow-Pullman Daily News

The first iteration of the company involved in the proposed biodiesel plant in Pullman is being sued in Florida.

The Port of Whitman County is continuing to go forward with its proposed Agricultural Advancement Campus. The agency recently submitted a rezone application for the location partly within Pullman city limits on the west side of town. If the application is approved, the port would allow its partner AgTech OS to build a biodiesel plant on the campus, as being the anchor tenant.

Ignis Biotech, the first iteration of AgTech OS, is being sued by a media group in Florida. Ignis was formed in Whitman County last October before dissolving two months later to create AgTech, according to the Washington secretary of state’s records.

Near the beginning of its formation, Ignis signed a deal with Densen Media Group, a Florida TV production company. The media group was contracted to produce a TV segment, featuring Ignis on its show “Advancements with Ted Danson,” which can be viewed on DirecTV or DISH Network.

According to court records the Daily News acquired from the Florida repository, Ignis Biotech did not pay Densen Media Group for its work, failing to fulfill a contract worth about $60,000.

The original company dissolved a few weeks after being sued by Densen Media Group, and later formed AgTech OS two months after first forming Ignis Biotech, according to records.

Brian Kraft, chief technology officer at AgTech, said this isn’t the first time Densen Media Group has sued its clients. According to court records, the media group has filed nine similar lawsuits against its patrons since 2018.

Kraft said that the lawsuit involves another legal entity that is not AgTech OS. He added the lawsuit will not affect AgTech or the work the company is doing with the port.

Abbi Russell, the port’s outside media contact, said the port has been aware of the lawsuit as the entity “did its due diligence.” She added the litigation will not affect any work for the proposed agricultural campus, nor is it connected to the port’s deal with AgTech.

Port commissioners agreed to buy land south of Old Wawawai Road near the Whispering Hills subdivision and the Pullman Public School District on Jan. 25, according to past reporting. The port submitted its rezoning application to the City of Pullman on March 2. Its application asks to rezone around 80 acres within city limits to commercial land.

The proposed site is more than 180 acres inside Industrial Research Park. If the application is approved, a biodiesel plant would be the anchor tenant of the agricultural campus. The plant would process virgin canola oil into fuel.

As the application is reviewed, the City of Pullman will first announce a preliminary determination, and once presented, a 14-day public comment period will follow, according to past reporting.

After the public comment period has ended, the rezone application will be added to the planning commission’s meeting agenda, The planning commission would then formulate a recommendation to be presented to the City Council.

The City Council would then choose to either approve, deny or remand the port’s request to the planning commission, according to past reporting. If approved by the City Council, local and state permitting would follow.