Two companies building a $1.8 billion fertilizer plant in southeastern Iowa will pay an $80,000 civil penalty for allegedly violating the Clean Water Act during construction.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Wednesday that it has reached a settlement with Iowa Fertilizer Company and Orascom E &C USA related to their work on the plant near Wever.
The agency says the companies violated their construction stormwater permit in 2013 and 2014 by releasing discharges containing sediment that went into a tributary of the Mississippi River. Inspections in 2014 uncovered inadequate sediment controls and barriers in several locations on the 369-acre site, among other problems.
The companies do not "admit or deny" EPA's allegations in the settlement, which is expected to become final after a 40-day public comment period.