Lincolnway Energy, an Iowa biofuel producer, has been fined $176,750 over pollution offenses.
The fine stems from emissions of particulates and nitrogen oxides that exceed limits at an ethanol plant in Nevada, Iowa, reports IowaPolitics.com.
The period of infractions ran from December of 2006 through December of 2008, reports BrighterEnergy.
Lincolnway Energy agreed to a consent decree and the related civil penalty April 12, after a lawsuit was filed by the Iowa Attorney General’s office.
The suit also alleged that the biofuel producer discharged wastewater into a creek during several months in 2006 and 2007 that resulted in excessive effluent limits for iron, suspended solids and total residual chlorine.
Lincolnway has since corrected the wastewater effluent problems.
The fine is the largest such penalty levied against an Iowa biofuels plant, according to the Des Moines Register. Because of its corn production, Iowa has a number of ethanol plants.
Previously, a Cargill plant paid $100,000 in 2008 for emissions violations at its Iowa Falls plant.
In February, non-biofuel judgement of a $1 million fine was levied against Roquette America for air quality violations at its Keokuk corn-processing facility.
Lincolnway might have received as little as a $10,000 fine under Iowa Department of Natural Resources protocol, but the Iowa Environmental Protection Commission in December of 2007 asked the state’s Attorney General’s office to take up the case, because it can propose larger penalties.
The plant can produce up to 55 million gallons of ethanol a year.