08/24/2010 // West Palm Beach, FL, USA // Tara Monks // Tara Monks
Kansas City, KS – Western Sugar Cooperative, of Denver, Colorado, reached an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over charges related to Clean Water Act Violations. According to the EPA press release, Western Sugar Cooperative will pay a $56,736 civil penalty and spend $350,000 on plant upgrades to settle claims that its sugar beet processing facility in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, had excessively high discharges of fecal coliform bacteria in wastewater.
The EPA claims Western Sugar Co-op violated the federal Clean Water Act at least 14 times between December 2007 and January 2010. The facility’s National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit allows a daily maximum limit of 400 colony forming units (CFUs) of fecal coliform per 100 milliliters (mL) of water.
EPA inspections found that the Scottsbluff plant reported excessive discharges ranging from 485 to 20,000 CFUs per 100 mL, exceeding the limits.
Water discharged from the plant flows directly into the North Platte River, which is listed by the State of Nebraska as being impaired by fecal coliform bacteria.
Fecal coliform bacteria in water indicates the presence of human or animal wastes. Microbes can cause illnesses such as diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches and more serious symptoms.
As stated in the agreement, Western Sugar will also undertake an additional environmental project. It will spend at least $350,000 on the installation of a non-contact water condenser system at the Scottsbluff plant. The project will result in energy and water savings, and pollutant discharge reductions.
Through the settlement agreement, Western Sugar certified it is operating in compliance with the Clean Water Act.
Phone: (866) 598-1315