After a June 2020 fertilizer leak that killed hundreds of fish and mussels, Dubuque fertilizer and grain storage business, Gavilon Grain, has agreed to pay roughly $270,000.

Nearly 1 million gallons of fertilizer streamed via storm sewers from the site at 1200 Kerper Blvd. into Bee Branch Pond, which occasionally flows into the Mississippi River.

Gavilon, who signed a consent order with the Iowa DNR on Oct. 22, notified the DNR on June 18, 2020, that a worker was moving 32 percent nitrogen fertilizer between tanks when the receiving tank became filled past its capacity. The transfer was not monitored, and the spillage was not discovered promptly, according to the DNR.

A consent order can be given as an alternative to an administrative order and signifies that the DNR and the regulated business in question, in this case, Gavilon, agreed upon the conditions.

The consent order stated, “DNR concluded that the fertilizer release caused an impact to BBP causing harm to aquatic life (at least 787 fish and 181 mussels killed)."

Gavilon has agreed to pay $244,705 for the restoration of the gigantic floater and simple pocketbook mussels. They have also agreed to pay $18,282 in fish restitution and investigation fees in connection with the 2020 spillage. The DNR levied $7,000 in administrative fines for the incident's magnitude and responsibility.


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