EPA in Iowa

Iowa Fertilizer Company, LLC and Orascom E&C USA, Inc., Wever, Iowa


In accordance with Section 309(g)(4)(A) of the Clean Water Act (“CWA”), 33 U.S.C. § 1319(g)(4)(A), and 40 C.F.R. § 22.45 of the Consolidated Rules of Practice Governing the Administrative Assessment of Civil Penalties, Issuance of Compliance or Corrective Action Orders, and the Revocation, Termination or Suspension of Permits (“Consolidated Rules”), the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) is providing notice of a proposed Administrative Penalty Assessment against Iowa Fertilizer Company, LLC and Orascom E&C USA, Inc. for alleged violations of a construction stormwater permit issued by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (“IDNR”) (Permit Authorization No. IA22467-22231) related to the construction of a new fertilizer plant near Wever, Iowa (“Site”).

The Site occupies 369 acres of land, of which nearly 323 have been disturbed. Mass grading for the fertilizer plant began in approximately March 2013. The fertilizer plant construction portion of the project is located southeast of the intersections of 180th Street and 354th Avenue in Wever, Iowa. Stormwater, snow melt, surface drainage and runoff water leaves the Site and flows to Rogers Ditch which flows to the Mississippi River. 

Under Section 309(g) of the Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. § 1319(g), the EPA is authorized to issue orders assessing civil penalties for various violations of the Clean Water Act. The EPA may issue such orders after commencing either a Class I or Class II penalty proceeding. This action is a Class II penalty proceeding that is being simultaneously commenced and concluded in a Consent Agreement and Final Order pursuant to Rules 22.13(b) and 22.18(b)(2) of the Consolidated Rules, 40 C.F.R. §§ 22.13(b) and 22.18(b)(2). The EPA provides notice of the proposed assessment of a Class II civil penalty pursuant to 33 U.S.C. § 1319(g)(4)(A). Class II proceedings are conducted under EPA’s Consolidated Rules, 40 C.F.R. Part 22.

In this case, based on findings during inspections by EPA and IDNR in 2013 and 2014, the EPA alleges that the Respondents violated the requirements of the construction stormwater permit, in violation of Sections 301(a) and 402 of the Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. §§ 1311(a) and 1342. The alleged violations include unauthorized discharges of sediment, failure to implement best management practices to prevent discharges, and failure to properly conduct inspections and take corrective actions to prevent discharges. Respondents Iowa Fertilizer Company, LLC and Orascom E&C USA, Inc. have reached agreement with EPA on the terms of a proposed Consent Agreement/Final Order which would resolve this matter. Under the proposed Consent Agreement/Final Order, Respondents will pay a civil penalty of $80,689. Final approval of the proposed Consent Agreement/Final Order is subject to the requirements of 40 C.F.R. § 22.45.

The EPA will receive written comments on the proposed Administrative Penalty Assessment for a period of thirty (30) days from the date of publication of this notice. All such comments shall be submitted to the Regional Hearing Clerk at the address provided below. The procedures by which the public may submit written comments on a proposed Class II order or participate in a Class II proceeding, and the procedures by which a respondent may request a hearing, are set forth in the Consolidated Rules. Persons wishing to obtain additional information on the proceeding, receive a copy of EPA’s Consolidated Rules, review the proposed Consent Agreement/Final Order, comment upon the proposed penalty assessment, or otherwise participate in the proceeding should contact Kathy Robinson, Regional Hearing Clerk, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 7, 11201 Renner Boulevard, Lenexa, Kansas, 66219. Please reference Docket No. CWA-07-2015-0074. In order to provide opportunity for public comment, EPA will issue no final order assessing a penalty in this proceeding prior to forty (40) days from the date of this notice.

Karen A. Flournoy
Division Director
Water, Wetlands and Pesticides Division 
U.S. EPA, Region 7