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Cargill Agrees to Settlement of Clean Water Act Violations

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has reached an agreement with Cargill Inc. regarding alleged violations in connection to oil storage facilities.

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Cargill, a privately held multinational corporation headquartered in Minnetonka, Minnesota, has agreed to settle allegations that it violated the Clean Water Act at two different large oil storage facilities located in Blair, Nebraska, and Eddyville, Iowa.

Through the settlement with EPA Region 7, Cargill will pay a civil penalty of $187,500 to the United States.

The Clean Water Act requires facilities that store large quantities of oil to develop a Facility Response Plan (FRP) that outlines procedures for addressing “worst-case” discharges of oil. By being prepared and by conducting required response drills, facilities are better situated to prevent environmental harm from such releases. Each of Cargill’s two facilities produces and stores more than 1 million gallons of oil. Combined, the two facilities have a total estimated storage capacity of more than 7 million gallons.

“The Clean Water Act requires large oil storage facilities to have adequate response plans to prevent a spill from turning into a large scale environmental disaster,” said Karl Brooks, EPA Region 7 administrator. “The lack of a Facility Response Plan for these facilities can have serious consequences for humans and the environment in the case of a spill. This settlement helps protect the communities of Blair, Nebraska, and Eddyville, Iowa, if spills were to occur.”

EPA identified the lack of a response plan during 2013 site visits at the two Cargill facilities. Each facility required a FRP because the storage capacity of its denatured ethanol tanks exceeded 1 million gallons. As a result of the visits, in June 2014 Cargill submitted to EPA signed and effective FRPs. The settlement resolves the FRP violations of the Clean Water Act by Cargill.

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