The Washington Department of Ecology has fined Simplot Western Stockmen’s feed mill in Wallula $10,000 for air pollution violations.
During a site visit in December, state inspectors found the company was not using the correct equipment to prevent air pollution.
The mill grinds corn into various grits for use as animal feed, which can release a substantial amount of particles in the air, said a news release. Small particles can be breathed in and cause respiratory problems.
The Wallula area in Walla Walla County previously exceeded the federal, health-based standards for particle pollution and, as a result, is currently under a federally approved air quality maintenance plan for managing particles.
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Simplot Western Stockmen’s air permit requires it to use equipment that covers the feed and prevents small particles from getting into the air.
Proper use of the equipment involves lowering a snorkel into freight trucks while filling them with milled corn, said the release.
The company can appeal the penalty to the Pollution Control Hearings Board within 30 days.