WAUNAKEE, Wis. (AP) — A manure plant near Madison faces almost 90 alleged air pollution violations from state regulators, adding to the list of environmental issues that have put the company in hot water with the state.
According to the state Department of Natural Resources, Clear Horizons manure plant has released too much toxic formaldehyde and sulfur dioxide. The plant also hasn’t reported its excess emissions to the state, didn’t secure some necessary pollution permits, didn’t properly test generator exhaust and hasn’t submitted annual air emission reports, according to the DNR.
Clear Horizons burns manure to generate electricity that it sells to power companies. Its plant was built near Waunakee in 2010, for $12 million, including tax subsidies.
A message left Saturday afternoon at a number listed for Jim Ditter, CEO of the company that operates Clear Horizons, was not immediately returned.
The Wisconsin State Journal reports that the violations come as Clear Horizons grapples with the fallout from spilling more than 400,000 gallons of dairy manure in the last year. Earlier this month, the DNR asked the Wisconsin Department of Justice to pursue legal action against the Milwaukee-based company for the spillage.
The plant could be closed or face $1,000 in penalties for violations daily.
In the latest series of violations, the DNR alleges that Clear Horizons exceeded the limit 43 times last year for how much hydrogen sulfide it could collect. The chemical causes acid rain when burned. In 17 air monitoring tests, Clear Horizons’ gases contained more than 100 times the maximum legal concentration of hydrogen sulfide.
Clear Horizons can respond to the violations notice and make changes before the DNR decides whether to send the case on to the Department of Justice for possible legal action.
Information from: Wisconsin State Journal, http://www.madison.com/wsj