Welcome to the Department of Justice, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller

For immediate release - Friday, September 13, 2002.

Contact Bob Brammer - 515-281-6699

West Liberty Paying $41,000 Penalty
for Wastewater Violations

DES MOINES.The City of West Liberty in Muscatine County has been ordered to pay penalties of $41,472.10 arising from wastewater violations at the city's treatment plant.

In a lawsuit filed by the Attorney General's Office on January 30, 2002, the State alleged that the plant in 2000 and 2001 discharged wastewater into Wapsinonoc Creek with pollutant levels that exceeded effluent limitations specified in the plant's pollutant discharge permit issued by the Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources. Such state permits specify limits for criteria such as suspended solids and ammonia-nitrogen levels.

The lawsuit and a prior DNR administrative order were resolved by the settlement agreement approved this week by Judge Patrick Madden of the Muscatine County District Court. The city also consented to a permanent injunction against further violations of its wastewater discharge permit.

Last year, pretreatment facilities were completed by a major local industry, Iowa Turkey Growers Cooperative, doing business as West Liberty Foods, that reduced overloading of the city's wastewater treatment facility.

In a separate federal enforcement action by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that concluded on June 13, 2002, West Liberty Foods agreed to pay penalties totaling $97,500 based in part on alleged illegal overloading of the city's wastewater facility. Under federal law, "major contributing industries" are required to pretreat their waste to avoid overloading public treatment facilities.

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