$2.8M fine for dairy conglomerate over Clean Air Act violations

August 4, 2023 Rob Abruzzese
Share this:

Attorney General Letitia James and Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced a settlement on Thursday with dairy conglomerate FrieslandCampina Ingredients North America, Inc. over numerous environmental violations at its Delhi, New York, facility.

FrieslandCampina has been charged with a $2.88 million penalty due to dangerous air and water pollution from the facility, jeopardizing local public health and the environment. The settlement, organized jointly with the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, will require FrieslandCampina to adhere strictly to environmental protection laws.

The penalty money will fund projects beneficial to public health and the environment in the Delhi region, with half, approximately $1.44 million, going to New York. FrieslandCampina will also be required to drastically cut its emission of pollutants in Delaware County.

“Every New Yorker has a fundamental right to clean air and water, and companies have a fundamental obligation to protect public health and the environment wherever they operate,” said Attorney General James. “For years, FrieslandCampina ignored their obligation and the law, and as a result, put New Yorkers at substantial risk.”

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

Commissioner Seggos echoed James’ sentiments, emphasizing that the DEC, in collaboration with its state and federal partners, is committed to ensuring the safety of New York’s air and water.

For years, FrieslandCampina’s Delhi facility violated both the Clean Air Act and state laws by emitting toluene, a toxic chemical harmful to public health and the environment, without obtaining the proper permits, accurately reporting emissions, or installing necessary technology to limit the air release of toluene.

Water discharges from the facility also routinely violated the Clean Water Act, containing pollutants that threatened drinking water supplies and the local aquatic environment. On numerous occasions, the facility discharged cooling water exceeding permitted temperatures and introduced untreated pollutants into the local wastewater treatment plant.

Under the new settlement, FrieslandCampina has already invested approximately $6 million to comply with state and federal environmental laws, including installing equipment to reduce toluene emissions by 95% and improving its wastewater treatment. It further commits to spend an additional estimated $1.44 million to reduce heated water discharges into the West Branch of the Delaware River by 85%.


Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment