The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has settled a lawsuit against the J.R. Simplot Company for alleged Clean Air Act violations. The Idaho-based agriculture giant will pay $899,000 in a civil penalty.
The company owns five sulphuric acid plants that make fertilizer in Idaho, California and Wyoming. Sulphur dioxide is a gas scientists have connected to climate change as well as respiratory issues in humans.
The suit – which was filed by the EPA and the Department of Justice in 2009 – alleged Simplot was not keeping up with emissions standards. The agencies say the company made upgrades to the Pocatello plant – but didn’t install new technology to cut sulphur dioxide emissions. Now, the company has agreed to spend more than $40 million to make these changes at all of its plants.
The EPA says this is the 9th settlement of this kind, but represents the biggest win for the agency when it comes to emission cuts. After the tech upgrades are made, the EPA says Sulphur dioxide released from the plants will decrease by half.
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