Environmental Protection

Alleged Clean Air Violation Notice Issued

EPA has issued a notice of violation to Grain Processing Corporation, Inc. (GPC), alleging the company has violated the Iowa State Implementation Plan and the federal Clean Air Act for issues related to construction and operating permits issued for its facility at Muscatine, Iowa.

EPA Region 7 has coordinated with the State of Iowa on the notice of violation, which is separate from a civil lawsuit filed December 1, 2011, by the Iowa attorney general, which alleges that GPC's facility violated the state's air pollution laws.

GPC’s plant at 1600 Oregon Street in Muscatine processes corn into ethanol, corn sweeteners and beverage alcohol.

EPA’s notice of violation to GPC specifically alleges that between 2007 and 2011, its facility repeatedly violated limits on air emissions opacity that were set forth in the company’s 1995 amended construction permit and 2003 operating permit. The notice further alleges GPC failed to notify the Iowa Department of Natural Resources of the opacity exceedances, and failed to address the exceedances in its annual compliance certifications for the years 2007 through 2011.

EPA’s notice to GPC does not address penalties, but indicates the Agency will consider additional enforcement action, which could include penalties, to ensure the facility complies with applicable laws and regulations. The notice can be viewed online at www.epa.gov/region7/newsevents/legal.

The notice was accompanied by an official request for information, which seeks details of GPC’s compliance with the Facility Response Plan requirements and Spill Prevention and Countermeasures Control requirements of the federal Clean Water Act. Information provided by the company in response to EPA’s request will be used by the Agency in evaluating GPC’s compliance. GPC’s response to EPA’s information request is due within 15 days.

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