Cargill slapped with fine for biodiesel plant violations

The company was ordered to pay $100,000 for environmental violations at its facility in Iowa Falls, Iowa.

Wayzata, Minn.-based Cargill, one of the leading grain producers in the U.S., has been ordered to pay a $100,000 civil penalty for environmental violations at its biodiesel facility in Iowa Falls, Iowa, according to the state’s attorney general.

The Iowa Falls plant produces 37.5 million gallons of biodiesel per year, primarily from soy feedstocks.

“We alleged a series of violations relating to water pollution, wastewater pretreatment, and solid waste,” said Attorney General Tom Miller.

“Cargill has resolved the issues and is in compliance, but these were serious violations.”

The court order resolves a lawsuit filed against Cargill by Miller’s office.

Miller alleged that Cargill’s biodiesel plant went over its limit in discharging wastewater and sludge into Iowa Falls’ wastewater treatment facility.

When the city stopped accepting the wastewater, the lawsuit alleged that Cargill hired an outside firm which dumped the sludge in nearby pastures.

According to the attorney general’s lawsuit, the dumped sludge allegedly created a toxic environment in a local creek, leading to the death of at least 582 fish.

Cargill admitted to certain cases of mishandling wastes in court papers, but did not admit responsibility for other charges listed in the lawsuit.

The attorney general said a lawsuit against Latimer, Iowa-based Mort’s, the company which allegedly mishandled Cargill’s sludge, is still pending.

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