- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reached an agreement with Organic Resources Management, Inc. — and its parent company St. Louis Composting — regarding violations of the Clean Water Act.
- The company's facility discharged storm water into a Coldwater Creek tributary that contained suspended solids and biochemical oxygen demand beyond permitted levels.
- As part of the settlement, St. Louis Composting is required to pay a $24,000 penalty and hire a consultant to ensure that all six of its facilities in the area are in compliance.
According to St. Louis Composting's website, the company is the area's largest compost producer and processes one-third of the county's yard waste across its six facilities. It has also agreed to spend nearly $40,000 on four rain gardens at Trojan Park in the local city of Wellston as part of the EPA agreement.
Though composting is often thought of as a cleaner process than processing refuse or recyclables, it also operates under strict environmental regulations. California-based Sonoma Compost Co. was forced to suspend its operations at a landfill last fall after a federal Clean Water Act lawsuit brought by local residents.
Last year, Waste Management Hawaii was charged with a $400,000 criminal fine, plus $200,000 in restitution, for a landfill spill of contaminated storm water. The city of Berkeley, CA recently reached a tentative settlement in a lawsuit brought by San Francisco Baykeeper over Clean Water Act violations at a transfer station and recycling as well.