Ag Processing Inc fined $96,588 by EPA
KANSDAS CITY Ag Processing Inc., a farmer-owned cooperative involved in the acquisition, processing and marketing of grain products, has agreed to pay a $96,588 civil penalty to the United States for its failure to develop and implement a facility response plan for its soybean processing facility in Mason City.
According to an administrative consent agreement filed by Region 7 of the Environmental Protection Agency in Kansas City, Kan., the agency inspected the Mason City facility in January 2009. The inspection found that although the facility has a documented storage capacity of more than 1 million gallons of soy oil and/or fuel oil (actually 5.6 million gallons of capacity) it had not submitted a facility response plan to EPA, as required by the federal Clean Water Act.
The facility also had not developed or implemented a facility response training program or a drill/exercise program, as required by the regulations.
The Mason City AGP facility is located within 300 feet of a perennial stream, Cheslea Creek, which flows through two small lakes, then into Willow Creek and the Winnebago River. Without a response plan, the Mason City facility was not adequately prepared for a worst-case discharge to the nearby waters, including potential negative impacts to wetland habitat areas.
AGP’s settlement includes a schedule of steps that the company must take to submit a plan to EPA, and an agreement to conduct a revised evaluation of whether a similar plan is required for its facility in Emmetsburg.
EPA’s civil enforcement action is part of the agency’s efforts in Region 7, including Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and nine tribal nations, to make certain that owners and operators of the largest oil storage facilities – with capacity of 1 million gallons or more – are prepared to respond to worst-case discharges, accidents and emergencies, and to protect sensitive environments that could be threatened by such incidents.
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