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DENR Fines Agropur, Inc. for Surface Water Violations

DENR Fines Agropur, Inc. for Surface Water Violations


PIERRE – The South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has fined Agropur, Inc. (Agropur) $66,360 for Surface Water Discharge Permit violations at their facility in Lake Norden.


Agropur’s Lake Norden wastewater treatment plant discharges to the Big Sioux River under a Surface Water Discharge Permit that became effective on November 1, 2018. Since discharges began on April 9, 2019, Agropur has reported violations of its limits for ammonia, nitrates, conductivity, and alkalinity. In addition, Agropur had two emergency discharges due to operational errors and laboratory results indicated their discharge could be toxic to minnows and water fleas.


“The Surface Water Discharge Permit violations at Agropur’s Lake Norden facility must not continue,” said DENR Secretary Hunter Roberts. “Agropur has worked closely with DENR throughout their permitting process, and we will continue to work with the company to bring their plant into compliance and prevent any future violations.”


As ordered in DENR’s August 14, 2019, Notice of Violation, Agropur must submit a report to DENR from its consulting engineer identifying the causes of the effluent violations, the steps taken to correct the violations, and any additional steps needed achieve compliance. DENR staff continue to work with Agropur to ensure the necessary corrective actions are taken as soon as possible.


“The permit violations that occurred during startup are disappointing to all of us at Agropur,” said Agropur’s Vice President of Operations Tim Czmowski. “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.”


Agropur operates a wastewater treatment plant in Lake Norden to treat the wastewater generated by its operations. DENR requires Agropur to sample its discharge and report any violations. For more information about Agropur’s permit or DENR’s Surface Water Discharge permitting program visit https://denr.sd.gov/des/sw/swdischargepermits.aspx.


All environmental penalties are deposited in the state Regulated Substance Response Fund, which is used to respond to environmental emergencies.  


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