Utica Energy, an ethanol plant operating in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, has agreed to pay $480,000 to settle state alleged water pollution violation claims. The state of Wisconsin originally granted the 48-million gallon per year ethanol plant a permit to discharge their wastewater to a tributary of Sawyer Creek or in the Land Butte des Mortes Watershed. However, as reported in Opis Biofuels the complaint was that Utica Energy violated terms of the permit by failing to conduct wastewater samples, exceeding effluent limits and failing to report their noncompliance in a timely matter.
“As soon as the issue was discovered, we addressed the issue,” Utica Energy spokesman Jay Stoflet explained to OPIS. “This is just part of the settlement,” he continued.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Utica Energy has agreed to pay $280,000 in penalties, plus at least $200,000 to connect to the City of Oshkosh wastewater treatment system. In addition to its penalties and fines, the company will pay stipulated forfeitures of $25-$1,000 for each day that its wastewater discharge exceeds permit limits, until it completes the connection with the city sewer system. If Utica Energy does not connect to the city sewer system by September 2010, it shall promptly take all steps necessary to come into complete compliance with its current permit conditions.
This is not the first time Utica Energy has been in trouble with the state. In June 2008 Utica Energy violated air pollutant control requirements and paid $75,000 in fines and penalties.