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Solar farms in Illinois have been accused of environmental violations

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Four companies developing solar energy installations in Alabama, Idaho and Illinois have agreed to pay a total of $1.3 million for violating building permits and groundwater regulations, authorities said Monday.

The Ministry of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency said in a statement that the companies used a general construction contractor. In each case, the government argued that the companies failed to take steps to control the wastewater. In Alabama and Idaho, sediment from construction sites has flowed into nearby waterways, according to the government.

The cases involved AL Solar A LLC, which built a solar farm near Lafayette, Alabama; American Falls Solar LLC, which owned a site near American Falls, Idaho; Prairie State Solar LLC, owner of a development in Perry County, Illinois; and Big River Solar LLC, which handled the development in White County, Illinois, according to the statement.

All the owners of the solar power plants are subsidiaries of large international companies, according to the government.

AL Solar will pay a $500,000 civil penalty to state and federal regulators, and American Falls will pay a $416,500 civil penalty to the federal government. The Illinois facilities are still under construction, and officials must follow the rules for the rest of the work.


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