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Natural Resources

City receives letter from the DNR

Harlan News-Advertiser of Harlan, Iowa

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HARLAN - The City of Harlan has received another notice from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources regarding noncompliance of wastewater discharge from the Shelby County Cookers plant in Harlan.

The letter, dated February 2, says the DNR has reviewed monthly operation reports for the fourth quarter of 2008, and Shelby County Cookers exceeded several parameters each month during the quarter.

"Responsible officials must make every effort to operate the facility in compliance with the NPDES permit issued to the city, and to enforce the conditions of the treatment agreement with Shelby County Cookers," the letter said. "We are aware that Shelby County Cookers is working to make changes to the pretreatment system to correct these problems.

"We anticipate that progress will be made towards a resolution of these violations before the April 1, 2009 deadline set by the city."

Shelby County Cookers this week paid its more than $150,000 fine to the city for wastewater treatment compliance violations dating back to September, 2008 (see sidebar story). City officials said they are confident that the company is working to correct its deficiencies.

The city notified Cookers last week that they were requiring payment on past fines, and that the microwave bacon processing company must come into compliance with its treatment efforts by April 1 or risk having its sewer connection to the city be shut off.

Officials also said they are monitoring the situation carefully, and will continue to review reports monthly.

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Original Publication Date: February 6, 2009

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