The former owner of a rendering plant in Lexington has been ordered to pay nearly $2.3 million in fines for violations of the Clean Water Act and the Nebraska Environmental Protection Act.

But the company apparently no longer exists.

U.S. District Court Judge Laurie Smith Camp ordered Stabl Inc. to pay a $2,285,874 civil penalty for violations at the plant that occurred between August 2006 and May 2010.

According to the judgment, Stabl violated a series of environmental regulations. Sampling data from May 2006 through March 2008 indicate that Stabl violated discharge limits causing the city of Lexington’s wastewater treatment plant to violate its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit. Pollutants discharged by Stabl to the treatment plant include high levels of ammonia, oil and grease, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality issued Stabl a Nebraska Pretreatment Program permit in March 2008. The NPP permit established discharge limitations and required Stabl to monitor and report values for various pollutants discharged from the facility. Stabl was in frequent noncompliance with these requirements from the time the permit was issued until the time the facility was sold.

The court found that Stabl Inc., formerly known as Nebraska By-Products, violated the Clean Water Act a total of 1,533 times, causing an economic impact of more than $1.1 million. The plant was sold in May 2010, having never achieved compliance with the act's regulations, according to EPA.

The court found that Stabl was administratively dissolved by the Nebraska Secretary of State in April 2012 for non-payment of taxes, EPA said. "We have not received any further information about the company at this time," EPA spokesman Benjamin Washburn said in an email.

Stabl has 60 days from the date of the judgment to appeal the decision. No website or phone number could be found for the company. Its lawyer could not be reached for comment. 

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Business editor/reporter

Matt Olberding is a Lincoln native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been covering business for the Journal Star since 2005.

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