Report: Iowa AG files pollution suit

Bryan Cohen Dec. 2, 2011, 2:00am


DES MOINES, Iowa (Legal Newsline) - Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller is suing a Muscatine-based grain processing facility for allegedly violating numerous pollution control laws.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources alleges that Grain Processing Corp., also known as GPC, is a major source of hazardous air pollutants such as methanol, hydrochloric acid and formaldehyde, the Des Moines Register reports.

The lawsuit seeks civil penalties of as much as $10,000 per day for each of the alleged violations as well as an injunction that would require the company to come into compliance with Iowa's environmental laws. The lawsuit was filed Thursday in Muscatine County District Court.

"We were surprised by the lack of prior notice since we have been in regular, frequent contact with the Iowa DNR and had resolved most of the issues described in the suit," Janet Sichterman, a GPC spokeswoman, said, according to the Des Moines Register. "We are committed to doing our part to improve air quality in Muscatine and the surrounding area."

The lawsuit alleges that GPC emitted excess particulate matter and sulfur dioxide, failed to obtain a construction permit for components of a wastewater treatment system, failed to maintain and repair equipment intended to discourage excess emissions, failed to comply with emission-reduction requirements for hazardous air pollutants and failed to obtain a construction permit to prevent the deterioration of air quality, the report says.

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