ATTORNEY GENERAL MADIGAN: PENALTIES ASSESSED FOR WILDLIFE, FISH KILL AT FULTON COUNTY ETHANOL PLANT
New Owner Will Assume Former Owner’s Liability
Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced today the owner of Riverland Biofuels near Canton has agreed to pay a $15,000 civil penalty and reimburse the state nearly $3,000 for deaths to wildlife and the fish kill that occurred at its ethanol plant last year.
Aventine Renewable Energy Holdings, Inc. of Pekin acquired the facility in August 2010 from New CIE Energy OPCO, LLC which was named a co-defendant in Madigan’s April 2010 complaint that alleged water pollution violations. The allegations remain pending against co-defendant The Andersons, Inc., a grain handling and storage facility adjacent to Riverland. The Andersons was the exclusive supplier of corn for distillation at the plant.
“The growing renewable energy industry is a boon to Illinois, but like any industry it must operate in a safe manner and adhere to the laws that protect our environment,” Madigan said.
In March 2010, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency investigated a complaint of improper discharges from Riverland Biofuels and the Andersons, Inc. Both businesses improperly allowed wastewater to drain into two lakes used to store storm water and wastes associated with the distilling process. At the time of the complaint, Riverland had temporarily ceased operations at the plant. The investigation revealed dead or dying turtles in and near one of the lakes and the fish kill.
Under terms of the consent order filed yesterday in Fulton County Circuit Court, Aventine is responsible for the restoration of the lakes at the plant site and the proper disposal of wastewater currently contained in tanks on the plant site. The violations alleged against The Andersons Inc. are pending and were not affected by the settlement.
Bureau Chief Thomas Davis is handling the case for Attorney General Madigan’s Environmental Bureau in Springfield.