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EPA completes regional enforcement actions

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency completed more than 30 compliance and enforcement actions in Region 10 between April and June of this year. Two were in eastern Idaho.

The J.R. Simplot Company in Pocatello was cited for violating air pollution control rules for “acid mist and fine particulates.” EPA alleged that Simplot made modifications at its five sulfuric acid plants without applying for or obtaining necessary Clean Air Act permits and violating “best available control technology” limits for SO2, and for sulfuric acid mist and fine particles at its Pocatello plant.

In response, the company agreed to significantly cut sulfur dioxide emissions at five plants in Pocatello,Idaho, Lathrop, California and Rock Springs,Wyoming and pay an $899,000 civil penalty.

Simplot will spend an estimated $41.5 million to cut sulfur dioxide emissions at all five plants. That will reduce SO2 emissions by more than 50 percent. It will reduce emissions at Simplot’s Pocatello plant by approximately 825 tons per year.

The settlement was announced late last year and approved in April 2016.

The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality was a party to the settlement and will receive $167,000 of the penalty.

The City of Rexburg was also fined $22,000 for violating reporting requirements on sewage sludge disposal.

According to court documents, the EPA alleged Rexburg failed to adequately report sampling of the density of fecal coliform on sewer sludge that was transported for land application.

That enforcement action was finalized May 18, 2016.

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