Andersons agrees to $1.7 million settlement with EPA over toxic chemicals violation

August 19 – Andersons Marathon Holdings LLC must pay more than $1.7 million after reaching a settlement with the United States Environmental Protection Agency. The settlement relates to toxic chemical reporting violations at the company’s four sites, including the ethanol production facility in Cass County.

According to court records, the facilities failed to file release reports for certain toxic chemicals and made significant misstatements in other reports. The EPA alleged that from 2015 to 2019, the Andersons committed 99 violations between their plants in Indiana, Ohio and Iowa and 32 violations in Michigan.

Companies that work with toxic chemicals are required to fill out forms describing how the chemical is used and how much is released. According to the EPA’s website, “…a ‘release’ of a chemical generally refers to a chemical that is emitted to air, released to water, or disposed of in some type of unit of earthly elimination.”

The Cass County facility was credited with 25 violations. Many of the violations were due to failure to report the amount of a specific chemical that had been released or transferred in the previous year. In some cases, the facility filed reports for certain chemicals, but seriously underestimated the amount released.

Ammonia was underestimated every year from 2015 to 2019. In 2015, the company reported that it only released or transferred 10 pounds of ammonia when it actually released or transferred 10,874 pounds. .

“Andersons Marathon Holdings (TAMH) identified certain deficiencies in its Toxic Release Inventory reporting and submitted revisions to EPA on its own initiative, leading to additional review by EPA and to the recently announced settlement,” the Andersons company spokesperson wrote to Pharos. – Tribune by e-mail. “The Andersons is committed to legal and regulatory compliance and is pleased that TAMH was able to resolve this issue with the US EPA.”

Other unreported or underreported toxic chemicals at the Cass County facility include acetaldehyde, benzene, formic acid, toluene, n-hexane, and ethylbenzene. Exposure to large amounts of these chemicals can cause symptoms such as headache, drowsiness, burning nose, throat and eyes, coughing, nausea, vomiting and difficulty respiratory.

In an effort to keep the public informed about toxic chemicals and pollution in their communities, the EPA created a program to search for companies that report the use of toxic chemicals called the Toxics Release Inventory Program. It can be found on the EPA website at https://www.epa.gov/toxics-release-inventory-tri-program.

According to an EPA press release, the settlement is the largest amount the EPA has ever received through the Toxics Release Inventory reporting violations and violations of the Planning Act. urgency and the community’s right to know. The settlement specifies that the Andersons have one month to pay the $1.7 million.

“The EPA is committed to protecting people from pollution and taking steps to ensure that facilities report releases in an accurate and timely manner, as required by law,” said Larry Starfield, deputy administrator. acting Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, EPA, in the release. . “This settlement ensures the communities surrounding the four facilities have the best available information they deserve and allows them to act locally if necessary.”