Times Des Moines Bureau | Posted: Tuesday, November 8, 2011 11:15 am |
DES MOINES — A Blairsburg company has been ordered to pay a $30,000 penalty after it discharged wastewater from storm-water retention basins last year at its Eddyville solid-waste composting facility.
Wapello County District Judge Myron L. Gookin also enjoined Chamness Technology Inc. from committing future violations.
Monday’s court order resolves a lawsuit filed by Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller.
Chamness Technology Inc. owns and operates the solid-waste composting facility near Eddyville. The facility includes a 16-acre asphalt pad for processing and active composting of materials, including food processing byproducts, pre- and post-consumer food scraps, outdated biodegradable agricultural products, industrial bio-solids and bio-technology byproducts, nonrecyclable paper and cardboard, manure and food processing waste. The facility includes three stormwater retention basins with a total capacity of 8.1 million gallons.
Chamness’ solid-waste composting permit prohibits the discharge of water from the retention basins.
In 2008, the state Department of Natural Resources, or DNR, issued an administrative order against Chamness, in part because of illegal discharges from its retention basins. Two years later, DNR officials issued a second administrative order against Chamness, again in part because of illegal discharges from the retention basins.
Both orders required Chamness to prevent discharges from the retention basins, according to the Iowa Attorney General’s Office. The 2010 order required Chamness to maintain at least two feet of freeboard (the difference in elevation between the liquid level and the basin overflow level) at all times in each of the retention basins and enter into an agreement with a wastewater treatment facility to accept large volumes of wastewater in the event the basins are full and land application is not possible.
In June and July 2010, additional discharges from the retention basins occurred, which were the subject of Miller’s lawsuit.
Chamness officials admitted the discharges from the retention basins occurred, but said the basin overflows were unintentional and occurred in connection with significant, unanticipated rainfall events. Company officials further stated that it now co-owns 422 additional acres of land in Monroe and Wapello counties that are available for land application of water from the retention basins.
The consent decree approved Tuesday resolves all violations alleged in the petition, but it expressly does not resolve the alleged release of retention pond wastewater from an irrigation hose at the facility occurring on or about Nov. 1, 2010. DNR officials referred that matter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, according to a news release issued by the Iowa Attorney General’s Office.
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