ADM soybean processing plant in Des Moines fined for allegedly violating air quality regulations

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DES MOINES, Iowa — The Des Moines Register reported last week a Des Moines soybean processing plant has been hit with a $20,000 fine for allegedly exceeding the state’s limit in harmful pollutants emitted into the air.

In an agreement with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Illinois-based Archer Daniels Midland Co. will pay the fine and must make improvements in its air quality impacts moving forward.

The violations and penalty were outlined in an administrative consent order, an agreement to avoid litigation, and published May 26 on the Iowa DNR’s website.

Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. is a human and animal nutrition company that focuses on agricultural origination and processing, according to its website.

ADM owns and operates a soybean processing plant in Des Moines at 1935 E. Euclid Ave., as well as one in Quincy, Ill., at 2701 Refinery Road. The facility processes soybeans to produce soybean meal and refined vegetable oil as its primary products. It also maintains a coal-fired cogeneration facility to produce process steam and electricity.

As part of its process, the plant uses and emits hexane, which is a volatile organic compound emitted as gas from some solids or liquids and may cause adverse health effects, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Hexane also is a hazardous air pollutant.

The facility also emits particulate matter. Also called particle pollution, it’s the term for a mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets found in the air. Some particles such as dust, dirt, soot or smoke are large or dark enough to be seen with the naked eye, while others can be detected only by using an electron microscope, according to the EPA. Particulate matter can have adverse health effects.

The state sets limits on how much of these pollutants can be emitted.

Read the entire story here.

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