SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — An ethanol manufacturer agreed to pay a $1.7 million settlement with the EPA for allegedly releasing toxins at four plants, including one facility in Siouxland.
Andersons Marathon Holdings LLC agreed to pay the settlement after a total of 131 violations were reported at four facilities in Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio as well as Denison, Iowa, according to a release from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The release stated that EPA’s region 7 and region 5 offices conducted investigations for failing to file timely, accurate annual Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) forms for several chemicals from its fermentation vapor stream.
The release stated that region 5 found 99 violations with a $1,522,015 civil penalty, and region 7 found 32 violations with a $209,241 civil penalty.
“EPA is committed to protecting people from pollution and taking action to ensure facilities are reporting releases in an accurate and timely fashion as required by law,” said Acting Assistance Administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Larry Starfield, “This settlement ensures the communities surrounding the four facilities have the best available information that they deserve and empowers them to act at a local level when necessary.”
The release specified that the total penalty amounts to $1,731,256, which is EPCRA TRI’s largest penalty ever obtained by the agency.
Andersons Marathon corrected its 2015 to 2020 data errors for chemicals including benzene, ethylbenzene, and toluene, according to the release. The APA has collaborated with Andersons Marathon to ensure that they file regular reports for future manufacturing, process, or other use of fermentation of acetaldehyde, methanol, acrolein, formaldehyde, and formic acid.
The four facilities were stated to be located invulnerable or overburdened communities, according to the release. Those facilities are in Denison, Iowa; Logansport, Indiana; Albion, Michigan; and Greenville, Ohio.
The conclusion of the release stated that the EPCRA works to increase the public’s knowledge and access to information regarding chemicals at individual facilities, how they’re being used, and the releases of those chemicals into the environment. The information can be used to improve chemical safety and protect the public’s health and the environment.