In June 2008, EPA performed an audit of the city of Iola’s pretreatment implementation activities. During the audit, EPA identified numerous program deficiencies, including Russell Stover’s discharges of acidic wastewater to a publicly owned treatment works. In July 2009, EPA issued an administrative compliance order to Russell to cease discharges of its acidic wastewater and provide monitoring and additional information to EPA.
The violations were documented by sampling conducted by Russell Stover but did not stop until EPA issued the compliance order in 2009. After the 2009 order was issued, the company implemented pretreatment measures and enhanced its discharge monitoring.
“This settlement sends a clear message,” EPA Regional Administrator Karl Brooks said. “Companies that use publicly owned treatment works to treat their wastewater must follow the law. In this case, Russell Stover had been discharging acidic wastewater for years, and deteriorated sewer lines and manholes in Iola.”
The consent decree requires Russell Stover to perform compliance monitoring for a period of two years and submit a “Phase II” pretreatment plan if the monitoring shows non-compliance.
The consent decree is subject to a public comment period and court approval before it becomes final.