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Grease Photo Causes A Stir

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ANKENY, Iowa--A greasy mess caught on camera is causing Ankeny City leaders to take action.

A viewer sent in this photo that shows two Hy-Vee employees cleaning grease off what appears to be a catering truck and attached smoker into a runoff area that connects to a nearby pond.

This all took place at the Prairie Lakes Hy-Vee in South Ankeny.

The city of Ankeny has strict regulations about grease containers and proper use and disposal, as well as regulations against polluting waterways.

Hy-Vee said they will be using this incident as a teaching moment so no other employee makes the same mistake. Assistant Vice President of Communications Tara Deering-Hansen said, “We were extremely disappointed to learn that this had occurred at one of our stores. Environmental responsibility is a consideration in how we operate our stores every day, which makes this isolated incident unacceptable. We are immediately taking steps to reeducate and retrain our employees on the proper methods to clean outdoor kitchen equipment. The corporate-wide policy will be distributed to all 236 Hy-Vee stores today, and our goal is to ensure this never happens again. We also have notified the city of Ankeny and Iowa Department of Natural Resources of the incident, and with their counsel, we will take proper measures to clean that bio retention cell behind the Prairie Trail Hy-Vee."

The City of Ankeny also responded after seeing the photo.

Communications Manager with the City of Ankeny Tina Potthoff says, “Whenever a complaint or inquiry like this is brought to the city`s attention, the city`s environmental engineers are called to do an inspection as to whether there was a storm water illicit discharge. Since Channel 13 made us aware of the photo, we plan to meet with Hy-Vee to conduct an inspection of that area and decide whether there were any violations to the city`s code.”