LANCASTER, CA --- BlueFire Ethanol has received approval from Los Angeles county officials to build a $30 million ethanol production plant in Lancaster.

BlueFire Ethanol of Irvine, Calif., won approval from the county's regional planning commission, which voted to issue a building permit for the project, the Los Angeles Times reported.

BlueFire President Arnold Klann said the plant will produce ethanol out of wood chips, paper and other biowaste. The Lancaster plant is expected to produce 3.1 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol per year.

By locating biorefineries directly in the markets with the highest demand for ethanol, BlueFire Ethanol's technology can also help cities manage landfill waste -- solving two problems for the price of one, the company said.

"We have made significant progress in our efforts to build the first cellulose-to-ethanol facility in California," Klann said back in January. "This facility will be a catalyst for cellulosic fuel production throughout our nation and will provide the first building block in generating the 16 billion gallons of cellulosic ethanol per year that were outlined in the recently passed Energy Bill."