Grain Processing Corp. on track to meet environmental regulations


Muscatine. Photo by Mike Willis, Flickr.
Muscatine. Photo by Mike Willis, Flickr.

The Grain Processing Corp. announced that it’s on track to meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s limits on fine particulate matter (small particles that pollute the environment and can cause respiratory health problems).

The factory is constructing a new dryer house, which will be operation in 2015 and will reduce emission by 82 percent after five years. The project will cost $100 million.

Read more here.

Air and water quality violations from Muscatine plant forwarded to Iowa environmental commission


The state environmental commission will soon discuss how to address the repeated violations of one of Iowa’s biggest polluters.

The Muscatine Journal reports:

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is seeking to refer air-quality and wastewater violations by Grain Processing Corp. to the state attorney general.

The referral has been added to the agenda for a meeting of the Environmental Protection Commission. The meeting will begin at 10 a.m. on April 19 in the DNR Air Quality Building at 7900 Hickman Road in Des Moines. It will be open to the public and public comments will start at 10:30 a.m.

The commissioners will hear from the DNR and GPC at 1 p.m., according to the agenda.

Industrial Muscatine continues to struggle with air pollution, health affects


This story, originally published by Midwest Energy News, was republished under Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License. Midwest Energy News is a daily collection of the top energy stories of importance to the region. Its objective is to keep stakeholders, policymakers, and citizens informed of the important changes taking place as the Midwest shifts from fossil fuels to a clean energy system.

By B. Adam Burke

An Iowa town with the worst air quality in the state is again under EPA scrutiny after years of maintaining allowable air pollution levels.

But plans to clean up emissions from burning coal won’t be adopted for several years, leaving residents in a haze of regulation and red tape.

Last month, the EPA declared Iowa’s pollution-fighting plans “substantially inadequate” for maintaining fine particulate matter standards in Muscatine, an industrial town on the Mississippi River. Continue reading

Iowa air quality exceedances hit record high in 2010


Photo source: Iowa DNR report

Iowa exceeded national air quality standards a record 85 times in 2010 – a number partly influenced by new lower allowances for sulfur dioxide, lead and PM 2.5 (small particulate matter), according to an annual Iowa DNR report first reported upon by Bettendorf.com.

National Ambient Air Quality exceedances occur when air pollutants – PM 2.5, ozone, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, lead, carbon monoxide or other small particulate matter – reach levels that are “unhealthy for sensitive groups,” including young children, the elderly and people with respiratory conditions or heart disease.

In 2009, 34 exceedances were recorded in Iowa.  2008 and 2007 saw 25 and 48 exceedances respectively. Continue reading

Muscatine, Council Bluffs cited for dirty air


Photo by Mike Willis.

Oooh, that smell. Can’t you smell that smell? Last week residents in Muscatine and across the state in Council Bluffs may have caught a whiff of something because both cities were cited for exceeding EPA air pollution limits.

Muscatine had too much sulfur dioxide wafting through its air, and Council Bluffs had too much lead.

Those unconcerned with air quality may contend that the true problems in these cases are associated with more stringent regulation. Last August the EPA’s allowance of sulfur dioxide grew stricter and in October 2008 strictness for the lead standard increased tenfold.

But both forms of pollution are regulated for a reason. Short-term exposure to sulfur dioxide can increase the likelihood of contracting asthma, bronchitis, emphysema or other lung and heart disease. And it can worsen the symptoms of those who already have such conditions. Continue reading