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IFC Penalized for Water Quality Violations

Jason Parrott
Iowa Fertilizer and its contractor were fined by the EPA for water quality issues.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Wednesday that it reached a settlement with Iowa Fertilizer Company and the contractor building its roughly $2 billion dollar production facility near Wever, Iowa regarding water quality violations.  IFC and Orascom E&C USA agreed to pay a $80,689 civil penalty.

The violations of the federal Clean Water Act apparently occurred in June 2014. 

Iowa Fertilizer Company received a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.  But as the EPA conducted a site visit, an inspector witnessed sediment-laden storm-water run-off exiting the construction site and entering a tributary of the Mississippi River.

The EPA said that's a violation of the Clean Water Act because the storm-water could have contained pollutants generated at the construction site. The associated violations include:

  • "Failure to install or implement adequate storm-water control measures"
  • "Failure to update or amend the Storm-water Pollution Prevention Plan"
  • "Failure to perform adequate storm-water self-inspections."

The EPA said Iowa Fertilizer Company and Orascom E&C USA addressed the violations after the inspection and returned the job site to compliance.
The public has 40 days to comment on the settlement before it becomes official.

Iowa Fertilizer Company has said the plant will open this year.

Jason Parrott is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.