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The company failed to develop and implement a plan for its soybean processing facility in Mason City, Iowa
Ag Processing Inc. (AGP), a farmer-owned cooperative involved in the acquisition, processing and marketing of grain products, has agreed to pay a $96,588 civil penalty to the U.S. for its failure to develop and implement a Facility Response Plan for its soybean processing facility in Mason City, Iowa.
According to an administrative consent agreement filed by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 in Kansas City, Kan., the agency inspected the Mason City facility in January 2009.
The inspection found that although the facility has a documented storage capacity of more than 1 million gal of soy oil and/or fuel oil, it had not submitted a Facility Response Plan to EPA, as required by the federal Clean Water Act. The facility also had not developed or implemented a facility response training program or a drill/exercise program as required by the regulations.
The Mason City AGP facility is located within 300 ft of a perennial stream, Cheslea Creek, which flows through two small lakes then into Willow Creek and the Winnebago River. Without a Facility Response Plan, the facility was not adequately prepared for a worst-case discharge to the nearby waters, including potential negative impacts to wetland habitat areas.
AGP’s settlement includes a schedule of steps that the company must take to submit to EPA a plan for the facility, and an agreement to conduct a revised evaluation of whether a plan is required for its facility in Emmetsburg, Iowa.