SIOUX COUNTY, IA (KTIV) -- it could be a $100,000 fine or nothing at all. Friday, Sioux Center, Iowa business Sioux Pharm was found guilty of illegal dumping, but this case is far from over.
Guilty, was the verdict handed down Friday for biomedical corporation Sioux Pharm. But, despite the verdict the company has yet to be sentenced. Instead Sioux Pharm, along with the county attorney, will each need to submit a paper to the judge, stating what they feel is a fair punishment.
"Well, obviously what we are hoping for is that the waste water lagoon is closed at some point, we're hoping sooner rather than later and we would like some fine of some sort to be levied," says Sioux County Zoning Administrator Shane Walter.
Sioux Pharm has been in conflict with the county since last June. That's when they began receiving citations for their illegal dumping of animal byproducts in a company owned lagoon. The county has issued Sioux Pharm over 150 citations, each one costing seven-hundred and fifty dollars, giving the company a total of $114-thousand dollars in unpaid fines.
The county estimates that over 10,000 gallons get dumped in this lagoon each day by Sioux Pharm... and even though they were found guilty in Friday morning's hearing the county says they can continue to dump until the judge says different.
And that was all made possible by an injunction the company filled just a few months ago. But Sioux Pharm says they are committed to closing the waste water lagoon, regardless of the judge's final decision.
"It's a common goal we are working on shutting down the pit... Sioux Pharm is working for a global solution for all the parties involved we have been working diligently and hard to solve these matters," says Defense Attorney Lloyd Bierma.
"We're just happy that we are getting closer to see this thing through to the end," says Walter.
The judge, James Scott, says he wants the sentencing recommendations by Friday, April sixteenth. After that he'll make his decision.
Sioux Pharm is also challenging a decision that came down last year concerning the water that's come out of the plant.
The company says it still believes the water they are disposing is agricultural waste not industrial... and they'll take their case to the Iowa Supreme Court.