Ingredion to Spend $8 Million in Settlement Over Violations Involving Emissions of Particulate Matter at Indianapolis Corn Wet Mill
WASHINGTON – Plant-based ingredient maker Ingredion Incorporated today agreed to a settlement with EPA and the U.S. Department of Justice, along with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) and the Indiana Attorney General’s Office, to settle claims that it violated the Clean Air Act (CAA) at its corn wet milling facility in Indianapolis. Ingredion will pay a civil penalty of $1,139,600 and implement measures at a cost of nearly $7 million to reduce and offset unpermitted emissions of particulate matter (PM) and to comply with lower future PM limits.
A complaint filed with the consent decree states that Ingredion violated CAA permit limits on PM emissions, including inhalable PMs with a diameter of 10 microns or less, and volatile organic compounds. The complaint also states that Ingredion did not operate and monitor certain equipment as required to minimize air emissions.
“This settlement requires Ingredion to lower its emissions of particulate matter, which can cause serious health problems, and also requires Ingredion to take steps to offset the unlawful emissions it released in the past,” said Assistant Administrator David M. Uhlmann of EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “To help ensure the Company’s future compliance, Ingredion must implement a compliance management system that is subject to an independent audit program.”
“Today’s settlement will not just bring Ingredion back into compliance with the Clean Air Act, it will hold it to more stringent air pollution standards going forward,” said Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD). “This settlement will result in cleaner air for the residents of Indianapolis, particularly those who live in the overburdened community near the Ingredion facility.”
“IDEM is happy to be a part of this resolution that ensures responsible operations in compliance with the Clean Air Act,” said IDEM Commissioner Brian Rockensuess. “Good air quality is a shared resource that requires partnership between government entities, the public and industry. This settlement will benefit residents in Marion County and Hoosiers across Indiana.”
PM is composed of microscopic solids or liquid droplets. It can get deep into the lungs and cause serious health problems including coughing, aggravated asthma, chronic bronchitis and premature death in people with heart or lung disease.
The settlement requires Ingredion to install and operate new equipment to meet PM limits that are lower than the plant’s current permitted limits. The company completed installation and testing of the new system in advance of today’s filing. The settlement also requires Ingredion to implement a modernized compliance management system to address repeated operation and monitoring failures at the facility and hire an independent auditor to verify the effectiveness of the system.
Under today’s settlement, Ingredion committed to mitigating the harm associated with past excess PM emissions by paving onsite unpaved and partially paved roads and parking areas to reduce PM emissions generated by vehicle traffic, which Ingredion completed in advance of today’s filing. The company will also replace aging railway locomotives at the facility with two modern locomotives that meet emissions standards.
As a state supplemental environmental project, the settlement requires Ingredion to contribute $560,400 to the State of Indiana to support Brownfields redevelopment in and around Marion County, Indiana.
The EPA and IDEM are investigating the case. Attorneys from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Environmental Enforcement Section and the Indiana Attorney General’s Office are handling the case.
The consent decree, lodged in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval. The consent decree will be available for viewing on the Department of Justice proposed consent decrees website.