DENR fines Agropur for surface water violations

Local News

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources has fined Agropur Inc. $66,360 for Surface Water Discharge Permit violations at the Lake Norden facility.  

Agropur’s Lake Norden wastewater treatment plant releases water into the Big Sioux River under a Surface Water Discharge Permit. Since they began in April 9, 2019, Agropur has reported violations of its limits for ammonia, nitrates, conductivity and alkalinity.  

That includes two emergency discharges due to operational errors and laboratory results indicated the discharge could be toxic to minnows and water fleas. 

According to DENR Secretary, Hunter Roberts, the DENR will continue to work closely with Agropur during the permitting process to prevent future violations.  

As of August 14, the DENR ordered a Notice of Violation, and Agropur must submit a report to the DENR from its consulting engineer to identify the causes of the effluent violations, the steps take to correct them, and any additional steps needed to achieve compliance.  

“The permit violations that occurred during startup are disappointing to all of us at Agropur. We have made significant investments in water treatment over the past 12 months of construction and startup, and as a significant investor in South Dakota’s dairy industry we take our responsibility of protecting the environment seriously,” Tim Czmowski, Agropur’s Vice President of Operations said in a news release.  

For more information about Agropur’s permit or DENR’s Surface Water Discharge permitting program, click here.

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