Jerome Dairy Processor Fined for Not Disclosing Use, Disposal of Chemicals

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An Idaho dairy processing facility has agreed to a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, acknowledging that it failed to publicly disclose its use and disposal of toxic chemicals.

A statement from the EPA said Idaho Milk Products, which processes tens of millions of pounds of milk annually at its Jerome facility, disposed several hundred thousand pounds of toxic chemicals and failed to disclose its use. The EPA said the facility used nitric acid as a cleaning agent.

As part of its agreement, Idaho Milk Products has corrected the violations and agreed to pay a penalty of $52,100.

A statement from Idaho Milk Products said the violation came as the result of an oversight of filing two documents.

"This violation is not a case of illegal or inappropriate release of any chemicals into the environment," said the statement.  "It is a failure to file two documents on time, which the company regrets."

The company said it had identified improvements in its reporting process and created a new environmental coordinator position to centralize its management of environmental compliance.