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Atchison, Kan. company fined $1 million for violating Clean Air Act

An Atchison, Kan. company pleaded guilty on Monday to violating the federal Clean Air Act and is expected to pay a $1 million fine, according to U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister.

Posted: Nov 18, 2019 4:14 PM
Updated: Nov 18, 2019 4:52 PM

(TOPEKA, Kan.) An Atchison, Kan. company pleaded guilty on Monday to violating the federal Clean Air Act and is expected to pay a $1 million fine, according to U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister.

Midwest Grain Products, Inc. pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor offense of negligently violating the Clean Air Act. In its plea, the company admitted that on Oct. 21, 2016, a greenish-yellow chlorine gas cloud formed when 4,000 gallons of sulfuric acid were mistakenly combined with 5,800 gallons of sodium hypochlorite.

The Atchison County Department of Emergency Management ordered community members to shelter in place and to evacuate in some areas. Approximately 140 individuals including members of the public, first responders, employees of MGP Ingredients and Harcos Chemicals sought medical attention.

RELATED STORY: Two companies indicted for safety violations that caused chemical cloud over Atchison in 2016

The sentencing is set for February 24. The company could face up to five years of probation.

McAllister commended the Environmental Protection Agency and Assistant U.S. Attorney Rich Hathaway for their work on the case.

Victims can get more information on US v. Midwest Grain Products, Inc., by visiting https://www.justice.gov/usao-ks/victim-witness and filling out a victim questionnaire, leaving a message on a designated phone line at 913-551-6543 or emailing questions to usaks.victim.witness@usdoj.gov.

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