Iowa DNR: Chamness Technology not in compliance with Iowa standards

Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 8:46 PM CDT
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Residents of Eddyville, Iowa want action from the facility Chamness Technology, a site currently during derecho waste into compost.

Rhonda Van Zante says she did a “happy dance” after learning about recent developments in a several-year long battle with Chamness. Now, the company is at risk of losing its permit.

The Iowa Department of Natural Recourses recently served an administrative order to the company as a result of a “laundry list” of violations. Environmental Program Supervisor with DNR Kurt Levetzow says the company is out of compliance.

According to the order, the reason for the notice says Chamness “Repeated violations of Iowa law governing the proper operation of an industrial composting operation located in Eddyville, Iowa. Despite years of compliance assistance, the facility continues to violate Iowa law resulting in, among other things, impacts to public health and safety and impacts to Iowa’s air and water quality.”

Most recently, in mid-August 2021, “The facility experienced a multi-day fire resulting from multiple, ongoing violations of Iowa law. Those violations were enumerated in a Notice of Violations dated September 2, 2021.”

Those violations included failure to prevent compost leachate (waste water) from leaving the facility, failure to properly dispose of solid waste that cannot be composted, and failure to move compost materials off-site within 18-months, just to name a few.

An air quality expert with DNR weighed in on the potential health hazards that come with a site such as this. Brian Hutchins says the only threat in a situation like this is in the instance of wood burning. This would happen when mulch combusts due to excessive heat.

That fire would cause small particles to release into the air, thus putting sensitive groups like the elderly and immunocompromised at increased risk.

According to the notice, if the company does not comply their permits will be revoked.

Van Zante says she just wants them out saying: “It’s just a nuisance. We wanted him to clean it up.”

The company has 60 days to appeal.

KYOU reached out to Chamness for a comment. The on-site supervisor said he was unable to speak about the issue and corporate offices did not immediately respond.

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