A Cottage Grove factory is facing a civil penalty of $480,500 after a settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency over hazardous air pollutants.
Hydrite Chemical Co. of Wisconsin is facing the penalty for allegedly violating the Clean Air Act and is being asked to conduct a leak detection and repair audit after its facility was inspected and found to be leaking pollutants into the air, according to a release from the EPA.
Documents show the plant exceeded its limits of 25 tons of hazardous materials released per year, from at least 2014 to 2017.
The issues were found during investigations in 2017 and 2019.
The chemical blending and manufacturing facility in Cottage Grove manages and processes spent solvent provided by other companies, the complaint against the company said. Under the ruling from the EPA, the company will now be required to monitor and accurately calculate its air emissions, and establish limits on hazardous air pollutants that it will comply with.
Hydrite’s legal counsel, Thadd Stankowski, said in a statement that the emissions mentioned in the complaint involved incidental releases during normal plant operations and did not pose any harm to the health of the environment or the surrounding community.
“Hydrite worked closely with the EPA to resolve the situation, and implemented solutions that exceed regulatory requirements in order to further reduce the potential for even minor discharges,” he wrote in an email. “This includes installing advanced fittings and upgrading equipment. We are also providing additional training and monitoring measures.”
The settlement will be finalized after a 30-day public comment period and final court approval, the release said. The comment period has not yet been scheduled, according to the U.S. Department of Justice website.
Hydrite is headquartered in Brookfield and operates plants in Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, California and Texas.
Laura Schulte can be reached at email@example.com and twitter.com/SchulteLaura.