Ingredion Incorporated, a prominent plant-based ingredient maker, has reached a settlement with federal and state environmental agencies, agreeing to pay a civil penalty of $1,139,600 and implement measures costing nearly $7 million. The settlement addresses alleged violations of the Clean Air Act (CAA) at Ingredion's corn wet milling facility in Indianapolis.
The Justice Department, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM), and the Indiana Attorney General’s Office jointly pursued the case, claiming that Ingredion exceeded CAA permit limits on particulate matter (PM) emissions and volatile organic compounds. The complaint also asserted that the company failed to operate and monitor certain equipment as required to minimize air emissions.
Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division emphasized that the settlement not only brings Ingredion back into compliance but imposes stricter air pollution standards. He stated, “This settlement will result in cleaner air for the residents of Indianapolis, particularly those who live in the overburdened community near the Ingredion facility.”
As part of the settlement, Ingredion will install new equipment to meet lower PM limits than its current permitted levels. The company completed the installation and testing of the new system ahead of the filing. Additionally, the settlement mandates the implementation of a modernized compliance management system to address operational and monitoring failures, subject to independent audits.
Ingredion has committed to mitigating the harm associated with past excess PM emissions by paving onsite roads and parking areas to reduce PM emissions generated by vehicle traffic. The company will also replace aging railway locomotives with two modern ones meeting emissions standards.
In a noteworthy environmental commitment, Ingredion will contribute $560,400 to the State of Indiana to support Brownfields redevelopment in and around Marion County, Indiana, as a state supplemental environmental project.
The EPA and IDEM are continuing their investigation into the case. Attorneys from the Justice Department’s Environmental Enforcement Section and the Indiana Attorney General’s Office are overseeing the proceedings.
The consent decree, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval.