Lenexa, Kan., — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that Dyno Nobel, Inc. (Dyno Nobel) has reached a settlement with the United States to address violations of the Clean Water Act and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act at Dyno Nobel’s explosives manufacturing facility in Carthage, Missouri and its ammonium nitrate facility in Louisiana, Missouri.
As part of the settlement, Dyno Nobel has agreed to make extensive improvements to those facilities that will prevent future releases and discharges of explosives, nitrogen, and other pollutants, ultimately reducing pollution levels in Center Creek (adjoining the Carthage facility) and the Mississippi River (adjoining the Louisiana facility). The controls embodied in the settlement will result in the reduction of over 3,800,000 pounds per year of nitrogen, nearly 257,000 pounds per year of heavy metals such as zinc, aluminum and iron, nearly 187,000 pounds per year of oxygen demanding material and 103,500 pounds per year of suspended solids entering Missouri waterways. Dyno Nobel will also pay a civil penalty of $2,900,000 to the United States.
“By preventing millions of pounds of pollutants from entering Missouri waterways, this settlement will help protect the environment and the health of nearby communities,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Susan Bodine.
Today’s settlement resolves water pollution and hazardous waste claims brought by the United States in a lawsuit filed in April 2019. In that lawsuit, the United States alleged that Dyno Nobel violated the Clean Water Act at both facilities by discharging pollutants such as ammonia, nitrate, pH, Total Suspended Solids, Biochemical Oxygen Demand, E. coli, and Nitroglycerin into Center Creek and the Mississippi River in amounts that exceeded the facilities’ permitted limits; failing to properly sample and monitor discharges; and failing to appropriately manage stormwater. Additionally, Dyno Nobel violated the Clean Water Act by discharging wastewater at the Carthage facility into Center Creek that included unauthorized explosives and zinc in toxic levels. The United States also alleged that Dyno Nobel violated the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act by disposing of hazardous waste (including explosives) at both facilities without a permit, and at the Carthage facility, by failing to meet requirements for the generation and transportation of hazardous waste.
The consent decree requires Dyno Nobel to develop and revise pollution controls at both facilities to prevent unauthorized discharges of pollutants, and to investigate sources of contamination. These measures include: eliminating the discharge of high-strength wastewater at the Carthage facility; surveying and modifying the facilities’ sewer systems to identify and eliminate locations with the potential to convey unauthorized discharges to waterways; developing and implementing best management practices and Operations and Maintenance (O&M) programs to reduce spills in, and prevent discharges from, the production areas; sampling soil and cleaning up contamination at the Carthage facility; and performing enhanced effluent monitoring to ensure unauthorized discharges are not occurring.
The settlement, lodged today in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, is subject to a 30-day public comment period and court approval.