According to a report in the Quad City Times, Deere & Co. will pay $1 million for violating air quality standards over a roughly 13 year period at its diesel-engine testing center in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Chief District Judge Kellyann Lekar entered a consent decree Thursday in Black Hawk County, requiring Deere to pay the penalty and conduct annual environmental audits by a third party for at least 3 years.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources alleged that over a 12 to 13 year period, Deere failed to comply with emissions limits in 80 construction permits at its Performance Engineering Center, or PEC, in Cedar Falls. In addition, Deere allegedly operated several emission points without proper air quality permits and had provided inaccurate information to the DNR on compliance reports. And, the plant had violated emissions limits on carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter from 2005 until 2018, according to the petition.
The Environmental Protection Commission voted to refer the matter to the Iowa Attorney General's Office last year, according to a statement. Deere did not contest the allegations as part of the settlement with the state. The company has agreed to conduct annual environmental audits until they receive two consecutive audit reports with no or minimal violations. Deere would be required to correct any violations in a timely manner or pay a daily fine, according to the decree.