Fufeng USA Commits to Using Technology to Avoid Environmental Issues at Grand Forks Wet Corn Milling Plant – Agweek
GRAND FORKS, ND — The Chinese company that wants to build a wet corn milling plant in Grand Forks has a history of odor and air pollution violations in China, but Fufeng Group Ltd. will not have the same environmental problems here, promised Eric Chutorash, Fufeng USA chief operating officer.
Fufeng Group, a Chinese food company, has announced plans in the fall of 2021 to build a corn wet milling plant in Grand Forks. The company said the plant would create more than 220 jobs in Grand Forks and use up to 25 million bushels of corn annually. While the plant’s supporters applauded the numbers, opponents cited national security and environmental concerns.
A major concern of opponents of the project – especially those who live near where the project will be built on 370 acres in Falconer Township and residents of northern Grand Forks – is air quality and issues of water.
Reports from the Institute of Environment and Public Affairs in China and in newspapers across the country have documented about 30 environmental violations at Fufeng factories over the past decade.
However, Chutorash told Agweek through a statement prepared by Flint Group, in Fargo, which Fufeng USA hired to answer questions about the company, that Fufeng Group has invested more than $50 million over the past three years to improve environmental protection technologies in its facilities. .
“Fufeng USA’s Wet Corn Milling Facility is designed by highly trained local American engineers who will implement state-of-the-art environmental technology to mitigate odor and air pollution issues and will adhere to US Department regulations. North Dakota Environmental Quality and Clean Air Act. Chutorash said in his statement.
The company is also working with the city of Grand Forks to meet community expectations and all Environmental Protection Agency standards will be met, he said.
The design of the Grand Forks plant will be modeled after its Longjiang plant, which is the company’s newest facility launched in 2018, according to the Chutorash statement.
“Longjiang has the same mix of end products and has an impeccable safety and environmental record,” its statement said.
Meanwhile, Fufeng USA also plans to provide its employees with the latest environmental training programs, according to the statement from Chutorash.
The environmental record of Fufeng Ltd. has been documented in news reports and by the Institute of Environment and Public Affairs, a Beijing-based nonprofit that has developed pollution databases to monitor corporate environmental performance and facilitate participation from the public to environmental governance.
The Fufeng facilities have racked up a number of violations, according to Michael Standaert, a reporter with 12 years of experience reporting in China for Bloomberg Industry Group. For much of this time, Standaert specialized in coverage of environmental policy and industrial emissions, and it provided this information on previous reports of environmental issues at Fufeng’s facilities in China:
- Inner Mongolia Fufeng Biological Technology Co., Ltd. : This branch of the company has had 21 breach-related cases since 2005:
- On January 10, 2020, after the city government issued the Orange Air Pollution Warning: “You (the unit) have committed the following environmental violations: Your company has failed to implement the warning orange to reduce the production load and prohibit the use of heavy-duty vehicles of China IV and below for material transportation regulations.” Fine: 100,000 yuan. (One Chinese yuan is worth about 15 cents in US dollars.)
- In 2019, “Your company’s pollution prevention and control facilities are not operating normally.” Fine: 100,000 yuan.
- In 2019: “Your company’s automatic surveillance installations are not functioning normally.” Fine: 20,000 yuan.
- In 2019: Your company’s pollution prevention and control facilities are not operating normally. Fine: 100,000 yuan.
- The establishment recorded 10 violations in 2018, including the following:
- “Your company has not controlled the release of gaseous pollutants.” Fine: 200,000 yuan.
- “Your company did not recycle fuel gas. The above behavior of your (unit) violates the first paragraph of section 49 of the “Air Pollution Prevention and Control Act of the People’s Republic of China”, which states “Combustible gas generated by industrial production, landfilling or other activities shall be recycled, and there are no requirements for recycling, prevention and treatment of pollution must be carried out.'” Fine: 50,000 yuan.
- “Your company’s slag and gypsum were not stored in a fully enclosed manner as required, causing dust pollution.” Fine: 100,000 yuan.
- Xinjiang Fufeng Biological Technology Co., Ltd. : This branch of the company recorded 12 violations between 2014 and 2018. The most recent, in 2018: “The concentration of odors at the limits of the factory of your unit exceeds the standard.” Fine: 200,000 yuan.
- Jiangsu Shenhua Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. : No violation was observed on the IPE website. However, there was an explosion at Jiangsu Shenhua Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Fufeng in 2019, in which one person died and eight were injured.