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      Feds slap Roquette with pollution penalty

      Roquette America entered into a legal agreement with the federal government after the company was accused of discharging industrial waste into the Mississippi River.

      The consent decree filed in the U.S. District Court Southern District of Iowa Tuesday says the company discharged chemicals from its Keokuk plant well above limit allowed by federal regulations.

      â??On at least 15 separate occasions, (Roquette) discharged...industrial waste into the Mississippi River without adequate treatment in violation of its permit,â?? the agreement reads.

      The company owns a corn milling plant with a wastewater treatment plant in Keokuk.

      The decree allows Roquette to deny any liability, but also says that the company has worked with the government to address the issues at the plant.

      The company was fined $4.1 million as part of the decree.

      The order also outlines a number of steps to ensure the company complies fully with the federal Clean Water Act.

      A press release from the company said that â??prior to entering into this Consent Decree, Roquette made a $30 million commitment to these and a number of other capital improvements designed to modernize the existing plant and assure compliance with all relevant environmental standards.â??