Roquette officials speak out after settlement agreement with EPA - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Roquette officials speak out after settlement agreement with EPA

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KEOKUK, Ia. (WGEM) -

One day after the corn syrup manufacturing company Roquette announced a settlement agreement with the EPA, city and company officials are speaking out.

Roquette will pay a $4.1 million dollar settlement agreement to the EPA.

This follows claims that Roquette dumped industrial waste into the Mississippi River over 10 years.

Roquette officials admit dumping material into the Mississippi River, but they still insist it was not hazardous.

"The waste that we are talking about is essentially the water that is from the processing of corn. It contains organic materials and does not pose health risks," said Roquette spokeswoman Aliza Golan. 

"We are installing state of the art water clarifiers and airation systems with best available control technology," said Golan.

Keokuk Mayor Tom Marion said he is going to ask for half of the penalties that Roquette agreed to pay as part of the settlement.

Marion said they could use that for city infrastructure projects.

"It would be nice to get some of that money for the city. The pollution occurred here, so I will ask them. I will doubt it we get any but if you don't ask you don't get it. I think some portion of the ought to come to the city," said Marion.

Marion agrees Roquette should be responsible for the pollution it caused, but his hope is not to destroy a major industry in Keokuk.

"We hate to hurt the industry here, of course it is our largest industry and we want them to be able to succeed," said Marion.  

Keokuk Mayor Tom Marion said the city's drinking water was not affected by the pollution, because the treatment plant is up the river from Roquette.

Government officials say the Keokuk facility had over a thousand permit violations and dumped at least 250,000 gallons of industrial waste. (Click here to view the complete report from the USDOJ)

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