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Cargill Agrees to Settle Clean Air Act Violations

CargillCargill has reached an administrative civil settlement with the EPA over alleged violations of the Clean Air Act at its Vitamin E manufacturing facility in Eddyville, Iowa.

Cargill’s Eddyville facility uses the hazardous air pollutants methanol, methyl tertiary butyl ether, and formaldehyde to produce Vitamin E and similar compounds from soybean byproducts.

Under the terms of the settlement, Cargill will pay a $110,000 civil penalty to the US, and will perform an Enhanced Leak Detection and Repair project at the Eddyville facility for a period of one year. Cargill’s program will be subject to third-party auditing.

Additionally, Cargill has agreed to spend at least $155,000 on a supplemental environmental project to incorporate sealless pump technology at its facility. Through this project, Cargill will replace certain mechanical seal pumps that have the potential to leak hazardous air pollutants and/or volatile organic compounds, such as ethanol. The project will be completed within a year.

Facility inspections and record reviews by the EPA showed Cargill failed to comply with specific requirements of the Clean Air Act’s National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Pharmaceutical Production at the plant. Specific violations included failure to comply with regulations designed to prevent leaks of air pollutants from equipment at the facility, and failure to identify wastewater at the facility subject to air pollutant emission control requirements.

Cargill’s failure to comply with the standards created the potential for excess emissions of hazardous air pollutants at its facility or at additional facilities that handle Cargill’s wastewater, the EPA says.

According to the company’s 2015 corporate sustainability report, Cargill avoided more than 1 million metric tons of fossil-fuel-based greenhouse gas emissions in 2015 by using renewable energy.

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