Lawsuit raises stink over ADM bioplastic plant in Iowa

14 September 2010 17:27  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Several homeowners living next to a bioplastics plant in Iowa have sued their neighbour, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), accusing it of running a loud, smelly operation.

A total of 45 homeowners filed the lawsuit on 10 September in the US District Court for the southern district of Iowa.

Archer Daniels Midland said on Tuesday it would not comment about the lawsuit.

The plant produces polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) from starch made at a nearby corn mill, according to a 2006 news release from Archer Daniels Midland.

The plant's initial capacity was 50,000 tonnes/year.

The plant relies on processes developed by Metabolix, which was not sued by the homeowners. Metabolix had no comments immediately available.

Archer Daniels Midland built the plant in a neighbourhood in Clinton, Iowa, tearing down several houses to make room for the project, the homeowners said.

Archer Daniels Midland completed the plant last year, they said. The plant is running, although not at full capacity.

Nonetheless, the plant makes deafening noises and noxious fumes during all hours of the day, the homeowners said. The plant discharges fly ash on their property and covers their houses with dust.

The homeowners want the court to issue a permanent injunction on the plant, which would stop it from creating noise, dust and fumes, they said.

The homeowners also want Archer Daniels Midland to pay them unspecified damages.

Doris de Guzman examines alternative processing, new technology, R&D and other sustainability initiatives in Green Chemicals
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By: Al Greenwood
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