Nick Rees Apr. 20, 2011, 1:50am
DES MOINES, Iowa (Legal Newsline) - Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller announced a settlement with a nitrogen fertilizer producer on Wednesday over alleged violations of the federal Clean Air Act.
Under terms of the settlement, the Sioux City, Iowa-based Terra Industries Inc. will pay a $100,000 penalty to the state and install and implement new controls and technologies to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions at its two Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, nitric acid manufacturing plants.
"The Clean Air Act protects all of us from the harmful effects of air pollution," Miller said. "When any company violates the act, that threatens the public and we hold violators accountable. This not only holds Terra accountable, but it ensures future compliance and cleaner, healthier air."
Terra allegedly constructed, modified and operated its facilities without first securing pre-construction and operating permits and without installing best available control technology to control air pollution. The company was also allegedly in violation of the Clean Air Act through its failure to comply with applicable air emission limits and ongoing requirements for emissions monitoring, recordkeeping and reporting at some of its facilities.
Under terms of the settlement, which is part of a federal Clean Air Act settlement with the state's attorney general, the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and two other states, Terra will pay $625,000 in civil penalties, including $100,000 to the state of Iowa, to settle alleged violations of the federal Clean Air Act at nine of its facilities in Iowa, Mississippi and Oklahoma.
Terra must also install and operate controls and technologies at its facilities at an estimated cost of $17 million. These actions are expected to reduce harmful nitrogen oxide emissions by at least 1,200 tons per year.