A company has agreed to pay a one-million dollar civil penalty to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources for air pollution violations at a facility in southeast Iowa. Roquette America’s plant in Keokuk produces corn-based starches and syrups used in a variety of products.
Bob Brammer, a spokesperson for the Iowa Attorney General’s office, says the one-million dollar penalty equals the largest environmental penalty ever paid in Iowa, matching the penalty paid by A.D.M. for environmental violations in the 1990s. The state alleged Roquette’s corn wet milling facility had excess emissions of particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide and other compounds.
In addition to the civil penalty, Roquette is required to construct a new “feedhouse” — which is where the company makes animal feed from by-products of corn processing. “This was the particular part of their facility that caused the excess emissions,” Brammer said. Roquette has agreed to build a new feedhouse and include more efficient equipment and better air pollution controls.
Brammer says Roquette has already paid the one-million dollar civil penalty and has submitted permit applications to the Iowa D.N.R. for construction of the new feedhouse. “They’re prohibited from further violations and if they should violate this court order, then they could face stipulated penalties…up to $10,000 per day, per violation,” Brammer said.
Roquette is a company based in northern France. The facility in Keokuk opened in 1991.