Environmental Groups To Sue Pekin Ethanol Plant

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Two environmental groups have announced they intend to file a lawsuit against Pacific Ethanol Pekin, Inc. and Aventine Renewable Energy, Inc.

The Sierra Club Illinois Chapter and Prairie Rivers Network claim the companies have repeatedly violated the Clean Water Act at the former Aventine ethanol plant on Second Street in Pekin.

Aventine Renewable Energy merged with Pacific Ethanol in 2015.

The environmental groups, in a news release, claim the Pekin facility has “brazenly and consistently violated its water-pollution permits for years, which has jeopardized and will continue to jeopardize the quality of the Illinois River.”

“The facility’s excessively hot and polluted discharges are a significant concern for wildlife and for members of the environmental groups who frequently use the river for recreational purposes,” according to the news release.

The groups also claim the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has failed to take legal action, even though the facility “ignored repeated invitations” from the IEPA to look into temperature violations.

The environmental groups will ask the court to impose fines on the companies and order the facility to comply with the law.

Officials from Pacific Ethanol have not responded to a request for comment.

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