U.S. Water News Online
DES MOINES, Iowa -- A Postville company has dropped its
lawsuit against the Department of Natural Resources after the DNR
issued two permits for wastewater treatment plant improvements for
Agriprocessors, Inc. filed the lawsuit in Polk County District
Court in February. That was dropped recently after the DNR issued the
city a permit allowing construction of the plant and issued
Agriprocessors a permit allowing discharge of wastewater after it has
been treated by the plant.
``We're pleased the Iowa DNR finally issued the permits so our
business can continue uninterrupted,'' said Sholom Rubashkin, vice
president of Agriprocessors. ``These permits allow our business to
move forward, while still protecting the environment with these
significant wastewater quality improvements.''
The company had said in its suit that state law provides for
automatic approval of permits if DNR fails to approve or deny a
permit application for six months. The lawsuit last February said the
permit had been requested more than a year before.
It says that inaction left ``the city, Agriprocessors, Inc., a
major employer, and families of nearly 600 employees facing
catastrophic economic consequences.''
Despite the completion of two new 22 million gallon storage
lagoons for the city's proposed mechanical wastewater treatment plant
on a 22-acre site created specifically for this purpose, the city and
the meat processing company were unable to build the plant.
The new storage lagoons were built at the encouragement of the
Iowa DNR at a cost of approximately $1.3 million, Agriprocessors
officials said. The storage lagoons were completed last year to
provide additional interim capacity for the old, existing lagoon
treatment system, if needed, until Dec. 31, 2003, the deadline for
completing the mechanical plant.
The company said sodium chloride, or salt, is necessary to process
kosher meat products. The DNR has determined the chloride limit for
treated wastewater from the mechanical plant is approximately 30
percent lower than the current chloride limit into the existing
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