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Company Faces Record $1.5 Million Environmental Fine

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MUSCATINE, Iowa (AP) An Iowa company accused of major pollution violations will pay a record $1.5 million penalty and convert its coal-fired boilers to natural gas to settle a state lawsuit.

Attorney General Tom Miller said Thursday the penalty for Grain Processing Corporation of Muscatine will be the largest ever in Iowa for environmental violations.

The settlement is expected to improve air quality in Muscatine, where residents have complained that GPC's corn processing plant spews pollution that blankets homes and cars with soot.

Miller says the requirement to convert GPC's boilers to natural gas next year is unprecedented and expected to reduce its annual air pollutant emissions by 12,000 tons. The company will install additional air pollution control systems in the coming years to cut emissions further.

The changes will cost GPC millions.

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