Valero Renewables - Jefferson settles air pollution violation

By Susanne Retka Schill | April 09, 2012

Valero Renewables Fuels Co. LLC in Jefferson, Wis., has settled with the state of Wisconsin on an air pollution complaint. Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced April 6 his office reached the settlement on a complaint that Valero violated Wisconsin’s air pollution laws between February and June 2010.

Valero began operating the Jefferson County plant in early February 2010.  The announcement from the attorney general’s office said the company agreed to pay $17,000 in forfeitures and statutory surcharges, approved by the court on April 4.

The Jefferson project was started in 2003 by a group of investors as Utica Energy. The investor group then started Renew Energy, purchasing the Cargill Inc. malting plant site in Jefferson County in March 2006.  The ethanol facility located halfway between Madison and Milwaukee came online in January 2008 as a 130 MMgy ethanol plant, briefly holding the record for the largest corn dry-mill operation in the nation. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy a year later, operating as debtor-in-possession. Valero was awarded the winning bid on the plant in a December 2009 bankruptcy auction.

Bill Day, executive direction of media relations for Valero Energy Corp., said the company had no specific comment, beyond noting that the previous owner had violations and the plant is now in compliance. Valero lists the plant’s capacity at 110 MMgy.