Roquette America To Pay A Heavy Fine for Permit Violations

The large grain producer Roquette America, Inc. will pay $4,100,000 in civil penalties to settle violations of the Clean Water Act and its  National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System.  The EPA maintains that Roquette violated the terms of its permit by allowing spills from its wastewater plant at its grain processing plant at Keokuk, Iowa.

As early as 2008, Roquette was aware that its wastewater treatment plant was marginally adequate and that it could not handle spills or surges in loading. Instead of constructing additional containment structures for wastewater surges, or routing spills to the wastewater treatment plant, Roquette allowed the industrial waste to be discharged directly into the Mississippi River and Soap Creek.

According to the EPA, the Keokuk facility violated its  permit at least 1,174 times, and on at least 30 occasions illegally discharged via storm drains resulting in at least 250,000 gallons of industrial waste being released into the Mississippi River and Soap Creek. In addition to these permit violations and illegal discharges, Roquette discharged partially treated industrial waste from its wastewater treatment plant, and discharged steam condensate into Soap Creek through an unpermitted outfall.

In addition to paying the penalty, Roquette will complete other requirements valued at more than $17 million to further protect the Mississippi River and Soap Creek. Among these requirements are the completion of a sewer survey to identify possible discharge locations, the implementation of sewer modifications, the construction of upgrades to the wastewater treatment plant, and the performance of enhanced effluent monitoring.

Full Details from the EPA’s Website.