(Kansas City, Kan., February 2, 2012) – Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy, LLC has agreed to pay a $10,150 civil penalty and spend at least $38,729 on a supplemental environmental project for failing to file a risk management plan and implement risk management regulations at its dry-mill ethanol plant in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
According to an administrative consent agreement and final order filed by EPA Region 7 in Kansas City, Kan., an inspection of the ethanol plant in January 2010 found that the company had not filed a risk management plan for the facility, as required by the federal Clean Air Act.
Under the Clean Air Act, the Council Bluffs facility was required to file a risk management plan because it had exceeded the 10,000-pound threshold for anhydrous ammonia, an extremely hazardous chemical. Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy was storing approximately 28,000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia at the time of the EPA inspection.
As part of its settlement with EPA, Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy has agreed to perform a supplemental environmental project, through which it will spend at least $38,729 to purchase emergency response equipment for the Council Bluffs and Lewis Township fire departments.
By agreeing to the settlement, the company has certified that the Council Bluffs ethanol plant is now in compliance with federal Risk Management Program regulations.
EPA enforces the Risk Management Program regulations of the Clean Air Act with a goal of preventing accidental chemical releases and minimizing the impact of releases or other accidents that may occur. The establishment of Risk Management Programs and formulation of Risk Management Plans helps companies, industries and municipalities operate responsibly, assists emergency responders by providing vital information necessary to address accidents and other incidents, protects the environment by preventing and minimizing damage from accidental releases, and keeps communities safer.
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