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Ethanol producer to pay $136,500 for risk management and chemical reporting violations at Aberdeen and Huron, S.D. facilities

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DENVER, Colo. – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Monday that Advanced BioEnergy, LLC, based in Bloomington, Minn., has agreed to pay penalties totaling $136,500 to settle claims related to violations at its Huron and Aberdeen, S.D. ethanol production facilities. The violations are related to the facilities’ risk management programs and the failure to properly file Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) forms detailing with the use and management of chemicals.   

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“Risk management plans help prevent and reduce the impacts of potentially catastrophic accidents involving flammable and toxic chemicals,” said Mike Gaydosh, EPA enforcement director in Denver. “These plans, along with timely reporting about the use of chemicals, are vital to keeping workers and communities safe.   Advanced BioEnergy has been responsive in correcting the violations and coming into compliance, and we will continue to ensure they do so.”

EPA inspections conducted in January, 2012 found that Advanced BioEnergy’s ethanol plants had deficiencies in their Risk Management Plans associated with the use and storage of hazardous chemicals. Under the Clean Air Act, facilities like the Huron and Aberdeen ethanol plants are required to have viable plans in place to reduce the risks associated with toxic and/or flammable chemicals. These plans help companies, industries and municipalities operate responsibly and assist emergency responders by providing vital information necessary to address accidents and other incidents. By agreeing to the settlements, the company has agreed to come into compliance with federal risk management program regulations within 180 days.

Advanced BioEnergy also failed to accurately file TRI forms detailing the chemicals processed, manufactured or used at its facilities. These forms are required under the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act. EPA’s actions are expected to encourage better compliance with TRI reporting requirements and to ensure that residents and responders have complete information about chemicals present in their neighborhoods. This information also supports health studies based on the TRI database and helps federal, state, and local authorities plan for cleaning up industrial pollution spills. 

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