September 14, 2016WHITEFIELD — On the last day of August, state officials announced an agreement with DG Whitefield, a biomass electricity plant on Airport Road. By paying a fine of $44,100, the company agreed to resolve allegations of state statute and rules violations related to air quality.
State Attorney General Joe Foster and Thomas Burack, Commissioner, Department of Environmental Services, issued the statement. DG Whitefield reported some air emissions stack test violations properly in 2015, and subsequently took steps necessary to meet the Air Pollution Control Act.
Rules require facilities to report such violations, and DG Whitefield did so, according to cour documents.
Judge Peter Bornstein of the Coös Superior Court in Lancaster issued the ruling, which served to settle matters between DES and DG Whitefield.
The state and the company "agree that nothing in this Decree should be construed as an admission of liability or fact by DG or a denial of liability or fact by the state," the judicial order stated. Rather, the two sides, "wishing to avoid the expense of litigation, and in an effort to work cooperatively in resolving this matter, agree that settlement of this matter is in the public interest," the decree continued.
The decree serves as a "complete settlement and resolution of the claims brought by the State against DG." Due to the stack test violations that are now corrected, the company will pay the $44,100 civil penalty in two installments, one within 60 days of the decree, the other within six months.
Later in the decree, DES agreed to not take any legal or administrative action against DG Whitefield for the violations that lead to the proposed civil penalty the company has agreed to pay. Additionally, both sides acknowledge the company's obligation to remain in compliance with all federal and state rules governing the facility's operations.
Based on information online, DG Whitefield is owned by EWP Renewable Corporation, based in South Korea. The facility at 260 Airport Rd. creates electricity by burning wood chips.