LINCOLN, Neb. (DTN) -- Ethanol producer Andersons Marathon will pay a record $1.7 million in penalties for numerous Clean Air Act violations at its four ethanol plants in Iowa, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio, as part of a settlement with the EPA announced on Wednesday.
According to the settlement and consent decree filed with EPA on Tuesday, the company exceeded "applicable threshold quantities" of several toxic chemicals including ammonia, acetaldehyde, acrolein, formic acid, methanol, benzene, ethylbenzene, n-Hexane, toluene and formaldehyde, at the four plants from 2015 to 2019.
The EPA said in a news release the company failed to file accurate and timely annual forms for "several chemicals from its fermentation vapor stream," in violation of the Toxics Release Inventory reporting violations of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act. The $1.7 million in penalties is the largest amount paid under the act, according to EPA.
In all, the settlement resolves 99 violations in EPA Region 5 and 32 violations committed in EPA Region 7.
As part of the settlement, Andersons Marathon has since filed the necessary forms for 2015 to 2020 and corrected "errors" on chemicals including benzene, ethylbenzene and toluene. In addition, the company agreed to report its future manufacture, process, or other use of fermentation chemicals including acetaldehyde, methanol, acrolein, formaldehyde and formic acid.
For future reporting Andersons Marathon has adjusted measurements and releases of n-hexane and ammonia at its facilities, the EPA said in a news release.
Andersons Marathon's plants are in Logansport, Indiana; Albion, Michigan; Greenville, Ohio; and Denison, Iowa.
"EPA is committed to protecting people from pollution and taking action to ensure facilities are reporting releases in an accurate and timely fashion as required by law," said Larry Starfield, acting assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.
"This settlement ensures the communities surrounding the four facilities have the best available information that they deserve and empowers them to act at a local level when necessary."
Maumee, Ohio-based The Andersons and Marathon Petroleum Corp. announced the merger of the four plants in October 2019. The Andersons owns and operates more than 130 commodity merchandising, renewables and plant nutrient facilities in 21 states and Puerto Rico, as well as in Canada, the United Kingdom and Switzerland.
Read the consent decree here: https://yosemite.epa.gov/…
Todd Neeley can be reached at email@example.com
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