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EPA Settlement with Shine Bros. Corp. Recycling Facility Results in Pollution Prevention and Park Cleanup for Spencer, Iowa

Release Date: 10/07/2014
Contact Information: Ben Washburn, 913-551-7364,

Environmental News


(Lenexa, Kan., Oct. 7, 2014) - EPA Region 7 has reached an administrative settlement with Shine Bros. Corp., a commercial recycling facility in Spencer, Iowa, to resolve industrial stormwater violations under the Clean Water Act. Under the settlement agreement, the company will come into compliance with its industrial stormwater permit, pay a civil penalty of $120,000, and remediate contamination that migrated from its facility to an adjacent public park.

Responding to complaints by concerned citizens, investigations by EPA and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources found that Shine Bros. Corp.’s stormwater structural controls and best management practices were ineffective in controlling pollutants in stormwater. Investigation found that stormwater carried pollutants off the facility’s property into Pete’s Pond – an adjacent city park – and through the city’s storm sewer system to the Little Sioux River.

Investigation also found that Shine Bros. Corp. failed to properly conduct periodic stormwater inspections or to provide appropriate employee training, in violation of the company’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit.

To resolve the violations, Shine Bros. agreed to update and fully implement its Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan, and move many of its operations into enclosed structures to greatly reduce the potential for pollutants to be exposed to stormwater. The company will also improve best management practices and upgrade stormwater structural controls.

The company also agreed to pay a civil penalty of $120,000 and to remove pollutants from the city’s park and around the banks of Pete’s Pond that were contaminated by the company’s stormwater runoff. In the spring, Shine Bros. Corp. will revisit the park to perform any additional needed cleanup and establish an appropriate groundcover.

“The resolution of this action highlights the need for industrial facilities to control pollutants in their stormwater,” EPA Regional Administrator Karl Brooks said. “The Clean Water Act and industrial stormwater permits require common-sense pollution prevention actions, including employee training, routine inspections, constructing and maintaining structural controls, and using best management practices.”

Pollutants in stormwater can violate water quality standards, pose risks to human health, threaten aquatic life and its habitat, and impair the use and enjoyment of waterways.

The settlement agreement is subject to a 40-day public comment period before it becomes final. Information on how to submit comments is available on the EPA Region 7 website.

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