Wyoming plant settles with EPA, corrects violations

By Holly Jessen | March 14, 2013

A 10 MMgy ethanol plant in Torrington, Wyo., has agreed to pay a $49,000 in penalties and is now is back into compliance with the U.S. EPA. Wyoming Ethanol LLC, which is operated by Renova Energy, had some issues with labeling and reporting requirements, said Terry Oldfield, CEO of Renova Energy.

The EPA said the penalties were to settle claims related to chemical reporting requirements and the plant’s Risk Management Program. The facility allegedly failed to appropriately report chemicals used, a violation of federal right-to-know laws. Mike Gaydosh, director of EPA’s enforcement program in Denver, stressed the importance of reporting potentially dangerous chemicals and substances to protect the environment, employees and nearby communities. “We are encouraged that Wyoming Ethanol has been cooperative in correcting the violations and coming into compliance,” he added.

Oldfield pointed out that the violations were not related to releasing any hazardous materials and were a result of an oversight at the plant. Since the EPA can “come down with a heavy hand” on violations the company elected to settle, he said.

The agreement stems from an EPA inspection that occurred in May 2012, which identified deficiencies in the plant’s risk management plan, required by the federal Clean Air Act, the EPA said. The company also failed to accurately file Toxic Chemical Release Inventory forms, which list chemicals processed, manufactured or used at the plant. The forms are required by the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act.