Wiese Industries, the Perry maker of farm tillage tools, has been fined $3,000 by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for actions that “threaten the integrity of the DNR’s air quality program,” according to an administrative consent order filed this month.
The penalties stem from DNR inspections conducted at the factory in 2016, 2017 and 2021, when the DNR inspectors “observed visible emissions exceedances” at the plant and noted Wiese’s “failure to comply with air quality construction permit requirements” and “failure to timely obtain air quality construction permits, as required,” according to the consent order.
According to the order, Wiese Industries “consistently installed or made changes to equipment without first obtaining the required construction permits” and also “failed to comply with record-keeping requirements.”
Two-thirds of the fine targeted the advantage the factory gained by skirting the regulations because it “gained an economic benefit by failing to timely obtain the required construction permits,” according to the order.
The “gravity of the violation” was assessed by the DNR at $500, and the company’s “culpability” was also valued at $500, as “Wiese was repeatedly made aware of the requirements to timely obtain construction permits, yet Wiese has failed to comply with these requirements.”
The Wiese Corp., a fixture of Perry industry for 120 years, was bought by a Canadian company in 2003 and became Wiese Industries. In recent years, the company moved its production lines at the Empire Plow Co. Inc. in Cleveland, Ohio, to the Perry plant.