Iowa AG obtains court order against grain processor

By Bryan Cohen | Apr 1, 2014

MUSCATINE, Iowa (Legal Newsline) - Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller announced a consent decree on Thursday against Grain Processing Corporation to resolve allegations of numerous air and wastewater violations.

Under the terms of the consent decree, GPC must pay a $1.5 million civil penalty, the largest ever paid to the state for alleged environmental violations. GPC must also put 10 air pollution control systems in place and convert its boilers from coal-fired to natural gas-fired, which could reduce more than 12,000 tons of pollutant emissions per year.

GPC processes grain into ethanol and various food, industrial and feed products. The facility has more than 300 emission units, pieces of equipment that emit or can emit various air pollutants.

"This is a comprehensive and historic resolution of an environmental enforcement action," Miller said. "This outcome will go far toward ensuring GPC's environmental compliance and improving air quality in Muscatine."

As part of the consent decree, GPC must implement an ongoing environmental management system to achieve, maintain and improve environmental compliance, conduct a comprehensive environmental audit and implement corrective action for identified environmental violations or hazards.

GPC estimates that implementing the terms of the consent decree will cost between $15 and $17 million in capital expenses, between $4 and $12 million in increased fuel costs and $1 million per year in operating costs.

If GPC fails to comply with the decree's requirements, it will be forced to pay substantial civil penalties.

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