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News Releases from Region 07

EPA Reaches Settlement with Agri Star Meat & Poultry, LLC, of Postville, Iowa, for Industrial Stormwater Violations

Contact Information: 
Angela Brees (brees.angela@epa.gov)

Environmental News


EPA seal(Lenexa, Kan., Oct. 13, 2016) - EPA Region 7 has reached an administrative settlement with Agri Star Meat & Poultry, LLC, of Postville, Iowa, to resolve industrial stormwater violations under the Clean Water Act. Under the settlement, Agri Star must comply with its industrial stormwater permit and pay a penalty of $43,000.
EPA investigations in March 2015 found that Agri Star failed to comply with its industrial stormwater permit, including failure to:
  • Develop and update an adequate stormwater pollution prevention plan
  • Implement best management practices to reduce the amount of pollutants in stormwater
  • Perform facility inspections
  • Conduct annual comprehensive site compliance evaluations
  • Conduct visual stormwater monitoring
  • Conduct employee training

Under an administrative compliance order issued in August 2016, Agri Star is addressing each of the violations to bring the facility into compliance with its industrial stormwater permit. Actions detailed in the compliance order include: installing and maintaining adequate control measures and best management practices; performing site evaluations of the implemented best management practices; updating and implementing sampling procedures; conducting employee training; and updating and implementing an adequate stormwater pollution prevention plan.

Pollutants from industrial stormwater facilities, if not properly managed, can negatively impact water quality and aquatic life. Stormwater pollution from a food processing facility can include bacteria, ammonia, biochemical oxygen demand, oil and grease, and total suspended solids. The stormwater from Agri Star discharges into Hecker Creek, which is a losing stream and tributary to the Yellow River. Strong and effective stormwater controls are necessary to ensure protection of losing streams, which are vulnerable to negative water quality impacts from pollution.

The Clean Water Act seeks to protect streams and wetlands that form the foundation of our nation’s water resources, which are critical in adapting to climate change impacts like drought, stronger storms, and warmer temperatures.

“The resolution of this action highlights the need for industrial facilities to control pollutants that may come in contact with stormwater,” said Karen Flournoy, director of EPA Region 7’s Water, Wetlands and Pesticides Division. “The Clean Water Act and the industrial stormwater program require common-sense pollution prevention actions and best management practices, which include employee training, regular facility inspections, stormwater monitoring, and constructing and maintaining structural controls.”

The settlement is subject to a 40-day public comment period before it becomes final. The public comment period began Sept. 29, 2016. Information on how to submit comments is available online.

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