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Two companies fined for dumping waste water at Orleans County ethanol plant

SHELBY – An Orleans County ethanol producer was fined $87,000 last month for illegally dumping industrial waste on its property three years ago in Shelby, the state Department of Environmental Conservation reported.

DEC officials said Western New York Energy LLC violated the state’s Environmental Conservation Law.

The agency also fined Hydro-Klean LLC, an industrial cleaning company, for its role in disposing waste wash water at the Bates Road ethanol plant.

The Orleans County company – the region’s first ethanol producer when it started in 2007 – uses corn to make ethanol. The company cleans the plant twice a year using a high-pressure water wash to remove burned corn residue from the plant’s evaporators, according to the DEC.

An investigation, launched in 2013 and led by DEC Investigator Chris Didion, found illegal disposal of waste water.

“The resulting waste wash water, which included trace amounts of ammonia and diesel range organics and is considered an industrial waste, was loaded into a vacuum truck and transported to an area at the rear of the facility and dumped into the ground,” the DEC reported.

Hydro-Klean, an Iowa company, admitted to unlawfully disposing industrial wastes last August and was fined $50,000.

Last month, a Shelby town justice fined Western New York Energy $87,000 for violating the state’s Environmental Conservation Law.

DEC officials said wastewater is now collected and taken to a local plant for treatment.