Iowa's largest ethanol producer POET, LLC agrees to $53,000 in fines for air emission violations

Iowa's largest ethanol producer – POET, LLC – has agreed to fines totaling $53,000 for hazardous air emissions from its Shell Rock refinery over a two-year period.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) imposed a $10,000 fine – the most the department is allowed to levy without submitting the case to the Iowa Attorney General's office – and assessed a $43,000 fee – or $70 per ton for the more than 600 tons of volatile organic compounds (VOC's) the plant released during 2021 and 2022.

Yet another Bettendorf developer fined for violating soil retention rules; third order since September

Yet another Bettendorf developer has been fined for failing to control soil erosion while building a residential subdivision.

Tim Dolan, of Tim Dolan Development Co., agreed to pay the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) $5,500 under a consent order signed Dec. 14.

The violation stems from onsite inspections of the Stoney Creek North Third Addition last April and May.

EPA rejects IDNR effort to loosen water quality standards; change pushed by industry lobbyists

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has rejected an effort to loosen water quality protection rules in Iowa, saying proposed changes to "antidegradation standards" sought by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) violate federal rules.

In a letter to the IDNR January 19, the EPA's Region 7 Administrator Mark Hague wrote the state was "seeking to establish a one-size-fits-all rule that only projects costs less than 115 percent of base costs optimize 'the balance between water quality benefits and project costs.' "

QC area first in Iowa to exceed new ozone pollution standard; Scott County Park records exceedance

The Iowa Quad Cities achieved the dubious distinction earlier this week as the first metro area in Iowa to exceed the new, tougher health standard for ozone pollution.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) reported Tuesday (6/14) the air monitor at Scott County Park, north of Davenport, recorded an 8-hour average for ground-level ozone (O3) of 71 parts per billion (ppb) Monday, June 13. The ambient air quality standard for ozone was lowered to 70 ppb from 75 ppm last December.

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