Beef Products Incorporated has agreed to pay a $450,000 civil penalty to settle alleged violations of Clean Air Act regulations at their Waterloo, Iowa facility.
The Environmental Protection Agency announced that as part of a consent decree lodged Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids, BPI has also agreed to conduct third-party audits of its compliance with the Clean Air Act's Risk Management Program requirements at the company's South Sioux City facility.
BPI will then have 90 days to submit a plan to EPA that will correct identified violations within one year.
A statement from BPI says the company is dedicated to responsibly managing its operations and committed to respecting the enviroment. BPI sees the agreement as an opportunity to work with EPA to further BPI's enviromental stewardship efforts.
The settlement stems from a 2007 incident at the now-closed Waterloo facility that released more than 1,000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia into a production area occupied by BPI workers.
The anhydrous ammonia trapped two BPI employees resulting in the permanent disability of one worker and the death of the other.
The EPA says that during the response to the release, BPI directed its employees to enter the facility while dangerous levels of airborne anhydrous ammonia remained present.
The EPA determined that BPI did have a risk management program on paper, but failed to implement the program at the Waterloo facility, contributing to the 2007 incident.
The consent decree is subject to a 30-day public comment period and approval by the federal court.