WASHINGTON, DC, April 8, 2005 (ENS): The Department of Justice,
the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the state
of Missouri today announced a $ 2 million civil settlement
with the Golden Triangle Energy, LLC, ethanol plant
in Craig, Missouri for alleged Clean Air Act violations.
Detailed in a consent decree filed in the federal court
in Missouri, the settlement requires reductions in air
pollution, including volatile organic compounds, carbon
monoxide, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter, from
this ethanol manufacturing facility.
The federal and state governments allege that Golden
Triangle Energy was operating in violation of the Clean
Air Act’s New Source Review (NSR) provisions.
The Clean Air Act’s NSR program requires a source
to install pollution controls and undertake other pre-construction
obligations to control air pollution emissions when
there is new construction. Golden Triangle constructed
its facility in 2002.
Ethanol is a corn product used as an automobile fuel
alone or blended with gasoline. Ethanol’s high
oxygen content allows automobile engines to combust
fuel better, resulting in reduced tail pipe emissions.
During the ethanol manufacturing process, dry mills
burn off gases which emit volatile organic compounds
(VOCs) and carbon monoxide into the air.
The agreement announced today requires the plant to
install air pollution control equipment that will reduce
air emissions of VOCs and carbon monoxide.
In addition to contributing to ground-level ozone,
or smog, VOCs can cause serious health problems such
as cancer and other effects. Carbon monoxide is harmful
because it reduces oxygen delivery to the body’s
organs and tissues.
The settlement will result in annual reductions of
150 tons of VOCs, 12 tons of nitrogen oxides, 20 tons
of particulate matter, 70 tons of carbon monoxide, and
15 tons of hazardous air pollutants.
Under the consent decree, Golden Triangle’s Craig
plant will install a thermal oxidizer that reduces VOC
emissions by 95 percent from the feed dryers and meets
new restrictive emission limits for nitrogen oxides,
particulate matter, carbon monoxide, and hazardous air
In addition to emission control requirements valued
at about $2 million, the facility will also pay a civil
penalty of $30,000. The penalty amount is similar to
the amounts paid by other ethanol companies in previous
Clean Air Act settlements.
This is the 16th settlement the Justice Department
and the EPA have reached with a company in the ethanol
“This consent decree demonstrates our commitment
to the reduction of harmful pollutants from ethanol
plants, and shows that we will work to ensure a level
playing field within the industry by preventing violators
from gaining a competitive advantage,” said Tom
Sansonetti, assistant attorney general for the Environment
and Natural Resources Division of the Department of
“Significant air pollution emission reductions
will be achieved under this settlement,” said
Administrator for EPA Region 7 Jim Gulliford. “The
cooperation of the facility and the teamwork among agencies
has resulted in an agreement that ensures that human
and ecological health are protected.”
The consent decree is subject to a 30-day comment period
and final approval by the court.
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