Prairie Farms shells out $100K for pollution violations

DES MOINES, Iowa- The Iowa dairy farm Prairie Farms has paid a steep fine after “violating air quality limits for 12 years.”.

According to the Office of the Attorney General of Iowa, The Iowa cheesemaker has paid a $100,000 penalty and agreed to install $1.4 million in pollution-control measures.

According to the release, Prairie Farms uses a whey dryer in the production of Swiss cheese that emits whey particles to the outside air.

The state says in 2014  the dairy removed a baghouse, which is an air pollution control device to remove particulate matter. The DNR later discovered in 2013 that the dairy had removed the baghouse without seeking a construction permit, putting them in violation.

In 2016, the dairy installed equipment that reduced emissions, and it has remained in compliance with applicable emission limits since then.

As part of a deal, Prairie Farms agreed to install equipment costing $1.4 million to reduce emissions below permitted limits.