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Ethanol Co-Op Pleads Guilty To Pollution Charge

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — An ethanol cooperative in southern Minnesota has pleaded guilty to making false statements under the Clean Air Act.

Corn Plus of Winnebago was fined $450,000 and placed on three years probation Wednesday in federal court. Conditions of probation include internal compliance monitoring systems and company-wide training requirements.

Corn Plus’ permit requires that it monitor the air pressure drop readings of its baghouses, which remove particulate matter from its emissions. As part of its plea, Corn Plus admitted that in a Jan. 27, 2011, report, it failed to disclose that on multiple occasions between July 1 and Dec. 31, 2010, its air pressure readings were outside the parameters of its permit.

In addition, the company admitted that it made similar false statements in reports submitted in 2009 and 2010.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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