Bion’s technology platform provides comprehensive and verified treatment of livestock waste, much like a municipal wastewater treatment plant does for human waste. Bion’s platform simultaneously produces new recurring revenues by recovering value-added coproducts and renewable energy that have traditionally been wasted or underutilized.
In addition to coproduct and renewable energy revenues, the nutrient-removal processes are third-party verified, generating environmental ‘credits’ that can be sold to offset EPA requirements. The same verification will back a USDA-certified sustainable brand that will drive premium pricing. By offsetting the capital and operating costs for treatment technology with four new revenue streams, Bion’s technology platform offers the struggling livestock industry a pathway to environmental AND economic sustainability.
Bion was established in 1989 and has been providing proven livestock waste treatment solutions since that time. Bion’s new third generation technology platform will deliver substantially improved economics in the $100+ billion water treatment industry and the $200 billion dairy/egg/meat production business.
In most watersheds, livestock waste is one of the largest sources of excess nutrients that US EPA now calls one of the greatest water quality problems in the U.S. today. Excess nutrients create harmful algae blooms that are increasingly toxic and ‘dead zones’ in our rivers, lakes and estuaries. Notable examples include the Great Lakes, Chesapeake Bay and Gulf of Mexico, among many others. Recently, attention has turned to growing nitrate-contamination of groundwater/ drinking water in regions with extensive livestock operations.
Looming costs of hundreds of billions of dollars to deal with these issues are forcing changes to our clean water strategies, both nationally and in many states. Policies are evolving to address livestock/ agriculture and encourage private-sector solutions in order to successfully manage these steeply escalating costs. Direct treatment of livestock waste, while it is still concentrated and before it contaminates air and water, represents very low-cost high-impact solutions. This new ‘space’ is that Bion is positioned in is poised to receive several billion dollars in federal, state, local and private spending.
Livestock production is also a large source of greenhouse gases and is under scrutiny for ammonia emissions, pathogens and antibiotics, water use, and other issues. Recognition of livestock production’s environmental ‘footprint’ has hurt the industry and its reputation with consumers, investors and regulators. Clean up is not a question of if, it’s a question of when, how much the bill is, and how it gets paid.
NEW CLEAN WATER STRATEGY/MARKET SPACE
Chesapeake Bay states are under federal mandate to reduce nutrients that flow to the Chesapeake Bay. Data from a 2012 Chesapeake Bay Commission report indicates that agriculture projects such as Bion’s could reduce overall compliance costs between 50% and 95%. A 2013 Pennsylvania Legislative Budget and Finance Committee (LBFC) report, updated in 2018, concluded that targeting upstream livestock would save PA’s taxpayers more than 90 percent of previously estimated costs to meet their Chesapeake Bay obligations.
In April 2015 the Pennsylvania Auditor General issued a Special Report acknowledging that the state is far behind in meeting its mandated 2017 Bay reduction targets and faces costly sanctions from US EPA. The report also supported using low-cost solutions and technologies as alternatives to higher-cost public infrastructure projects, where possible. The report specifically focused on manure control technologies.
Bion’s Kreider Farms projects, at one of the largest dairy/poultry operations in Pennsylvania (and the Bay watershed) will reduce approximately 2 million pounds of nitrogen reductions annually to the Chesapeake Bay, more than 8 million pounds locally. PA Senate Bill 799 was introduced to establish a competitive bidding program to acquire low-cost nitrogen reductions like these. The bill was voted out of the Senate in January 2018 in a bipartisan vote of 47-2. Bion expects the bill to be reintroduced and adopted in the current 2019 session.
More than a billion pounds of nutrients need to be reduced in the Mississippi River Basin, Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay watersheds alone. Initial policy frameworks to support water quality trading are in place in almost all affected states; the strategy is clearly supported by US EPA and other federal agencies. The final step is implementing financing strategies that identify and provide funding for cost-effective solutions in the various states that are affected. A market-driven strategy that rewards innovation will save taxpayer money and accelerate restoration of water quality.
In the U.S., nine million dairy cows, 80 million beef cattle, 60 million swine and more than two billion poultry produce over 1.5 billion tons of waste annually. Although the economics will vary widely with livestock type, scale and location, livestock waste is one of the largest sources of unregulated nutrients in most states – and the lowest cost nutrient solution. Bion is well-positioned to capture a significant portion of the billions of dollars in spending that must come into this new water treatment space.
INDUSTRY CLEANTECH SOLUTION
The livestock industry is a low margin commodity business with no pricing power. It has struggled for the last decade to deal with rising fuel costs and drought conditions that have exposed critical weaknesses in its dislocated supply chain. For the most part, the industry has been unable to relocate or consolidate to mitigate these effects due to its environmental impacts. Bion can develop new, state-of-the-art livestock production facilities with little environmental footprint and substantially greater operational and resource efficiencies. Bion can retrofit existing operations to achieve many of the same benefits.
Bion’s platform also brings two more key improvements to livestock production: food safety and sustainable branding. Food safety and the impacts of food production on the environment and public health are issues of growing worldwide importance. WalMart, Costco, McDonalds and a host of other distributors of meat and dairy products are increasingly specifying sustainable production practices to satisfy growing customer demand. Bion-served facilities will allow greater control over inputs, improved traceability and accountability, and the cleanest, most efficient production practices possible.
To learn more about the opportunity to bring true sustainability to animal protein production, please review Sustainable Dairy, Meat and Egg Production – Bion’s Opportunity.
The U.S. livestock industry must reduce its footprint and simultaneously improve its efficiencies if it is to remain environmentally and economically sustainable in the modern world. Bion addresses both of these inescapable challenges that will require significant investment over the coming years.
- Excess nutrients are now recognized by US EPA as one of the greatest water quality problems in the US today
- Livestock waste is acknowledged as one of the largest sources of nutrients in most major watersheds
- Clean water strategies are now changing to deal with hundreds of billions of dollars in anticipated cleanup costs
- National livestock interests support the competitive procurement strategy for nutrient reductions developed by Bion
- US EPA supports competitive procurement from the private sector as long as reductions are verified
- US livestock census: 9M dairy cows, 80M beef cattle, 62M swine, >2B poultry
- Bion estimates the market for nutrient reductions in the U.S. alone at $8B to $10B annually
- Bion’s newly-patented 3G technology will produce substantially higher coproduct and renewable energy values and can be used to treat poultry layer waste