MPCA closes 118 enforcement cases in first half of 2020
July 30, 2020
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has concluded 118 enforcement cases in the first half of 2020. Environmental enforcement investigations often take several months, in some cases more than a year, to complete the investigation and issue final enforcement documents to regulated parties. Penalties are calculated using several factors, including harm done to the environment, the economic benefit the company gained by failing to comply with environmental laws, or how responsive and cooperative a regulated party was in correcting problems.
Imposing monetary penalties is only part of the MPCA’s enforcement process. Agency staff continue to provide assistance, support, and information on the steps and tools necessary to bring any company, individual, or local government back into compliance.
Enforcement cases with net penalty amounts of $5,000 or more
January - June 2020
Public date Company or individual(s) Violation location Violation(s) Net penalty amount
4/23/2020 Koda Energy LLC
Shakopee Air quality: Particulate matter emissions more than three times company’s permitted limit at the biomass conveyance area. PM10 (particles smaller than ten microns) emissions more than twice permitted limit at truck unloading station. PM2.5 (particles smaller than 2.5 microns) emissions more than ten times its permitted limit at truck unloading station. $20,000
6/9/2020 Stargate, Inc. d/b/a/ B&H Petroleum Equipment Company
Mankato Underground storage tanks: Hired to install E-85 compliant equipment at eight gas stations, but much of the equipment was not E-85 compliant. Also failed to install required overfill protection devices. $15,000
5/20/2020 Metropolitan Council
Minneapolis Air quality: Failed to keep records of spray booth filter inspections, quarterly facility inspections, and actions to correct damaged booth filters. Failed to maintain an operation and maintenance plan onsite and to install proper filters for spray-booth exhaust. $14,048
4/3/2020 CMI Coating Group, Inc.
Hugo Air quality: Didn’t conduct required, daily visible-emissions checks for four years. Failed to keep pressure drop ranges within permitted limits in parts of the facility and didn’t correct the problem when directed. Failed to conduct periodic inspections, maintain proper records, and annually calibrate monitoring equipment. $12,100
6/29/2020 Kerry, Inc.
Rochester Air quality: Failing to record amount of natural gas combusted in a boiler and spray dryer. Operated a wet blend bag dump without also operating a fabric filter. Installing and operating new equipment without first notifying MPCA. Operated several fabric filters, wet scrubbers, and venturi scrubbers outside permitted air quality ranges. $11,350
4/9/2020 Lakeside Foods, Inc.
Owatonna Industrial wastewater: Exceeded permitted wastewater discharge limits 16 times from 2017 to 2019. Allowed wastewater discharges to drain onto adjacent property, and failed to notify MPCA or State Duty Officer. $11,225
1/13/2020 Spring Prairie Hutterite Colony
Hawley Solid waste: Burned waste without a permit, including prohibited materials such as insulation, sheet rock, plastics, demolition debris, and trash. Failed to satisfactorily collect and transport its solid waste to an authorized facility. $10,500
3/6/2020 Cummins Power Generation
Fridley Air quality: Exceeded air emissions limits several times in late 2017. Failed to properly document air quality control equipment inspections and maintenance and to create an employee training program. $10,278
4/2/2020 Cambria Company LLC
Le Sueur Air quality: Failed to submit emissions testing plans and reports and equipment certifications and evaluations on time. Failed to operate within permitted pressure drop limits. Allowed emissions control equipment to operate below required efficiency. $10,200
1/8/2020 Lai Pham Wadena Emergency management and municipal wastewater: At a mobile home park, raw sewage was allowed to discharge beneath two mobile homes. Park owner didn’t try to clean up the discharges, or notify the State Duty Officer or MPCA. $9,437
3/13/2020 Marvin Lumber and Cedar Company Warroad Air quality: Failed to submit equipment inspections and certification reports, notify the MPCA prior to a construction project, and properly track fuel type and usage in equipment. Performance stack testing not conducted on time. $9,085
6/4/2020 POET Biorefining - Glenville, LLC Albert Lea Air quality: Carbon monoxide emissions more than double the permitted limit in April 2019. Incorrectly-installed equipment caused pressure drop readings outside permitted limits over several months. $8,535
3/5/2020 Dale A Walsh Osakis Underground storage tanks: Failed to purge gasoline and vapors from a 6,000-gallon underground storage tank before removing it. $7,600
5/21/2020 City of Karlstad Karlstad Municipal wastewater: Failed to properly document and submit discharge monitoring reports and sample pre-discharge and discharge parameters. Submitted phosphorus management plan more than four years late. $7,000
6/23/2020 Bunes Septic Service, Inc. Grand Rapids Subsurface sewage treatment systems: Improper land application of sewage. Failed to provide required information to homeowners after servicing and pumping septic systems. $6,800
1/7/2020 Pope/Douglas Solid Waste Management Alexandria Air quality: For two months in 2019, emitted pollutants at 66% higher rate than permit allows from solid waste incinerator. $6,435
6/4/2020 USG Interiors LLC Cloquet Air quality: Emitted particulates at more than twice their permitted limit in late 2019. $6,253
3/11/2020 Heartland Corn Products Winthrop Industrial stormwater: Exceeded industrial wastewater discharge limits for 12 pollutants between March and October 2019. $6,120
1/16/2020 MN Dept of Transportation Greenwald Construction stormwater: Failed to include proper controls in the required stormwater control plan for a construction project. Failed to properly inspect sediment and erosion controls following rain events. $6,100
2/27/2020 Ceramic Industrial Coatings Osseo Air quality: Installed and operated equipment without applying for required amendment to their air quality permit. $5,955
3/12/2020 Bay State Milling Company Winona Air quality: Failed to check exhaust stack for visible emissions daily, properly install monitoring equipment, complete inspections and maintain records, or maintain pressure drop readings. $5,815
4/23/2020 Irene T. Schneider Trust Kimball Construction stormwater and solid waste: Drained sediment-laden water into a nearby wetland. Conducted a construction project without required permit. Failed to install proper sediment and erosion controls during construction or conduct inspections. Improper disposal of municipal solid waste. $5,750
4/23/2020 Brian Herberg Kimball Construction stormwater: Drained sediment-laden water into a nearby wetland. Conducted a construction project without required permit. Failed to install proper sediment and erosion controls during construction or conduct inspections. $5,250
3/18/2020 Twin City Container, Inc. Hastings Air quality: Failed to maintain equipment inspection and calibration records and to conduct required inspections. Failed to record use of VOC-containing materials. $5,145
6/24/2020 Koda Energy LLC Shakopee Air Quality: In March of 2018, company failed an emissions performance retest on a biomass conveyance. Test showed emissions of very small particulates at a rate 480% over permitted limit. $5,100
2/6/2020 Birds Eye Foods LLC Waseca Industrial wastewater: Seven unauthorized wastewater releases between 2014 and 2017. Failed to collect and document required samples, regularly train staff on stormwater management, and conduct required facility inspections. $5,064
3/6/2020 City of Northfield Northfield Municipal wastewater: Unauthorized release of 5,500 gallons of wastewater from the facility to a storm sewer that drains to the Cannon River. $5,040
Enforcement cases with net penalty amounts of less than $5,000
January - June 2020
• Saint Paul Brass Foundry Co., for air quality violations in St. Paul.
• Supervalu, Inc., for air quality violations at eleven locations.
• Clean Site LLC, for subsurface sewage treatment system violations in Montevideo.
• Eastside Storage - Alexandria LLC, for construction stormwater violations in Alexandria.
• Minnesota Corrugated Box, Inc., for air quality violations in Albert Lea.
• Johnson Materials, Inc., for industrial stormwater violations in Clearwater.
• Strata Corp., for solid waste violations in Dilworth.
• Michael Foods, Inc., for construction stormwater violations in Gaylord.
• Miller Enterprises of Waseca, for subsurface sewage treatment system violations in Waseca.
• Mark Lee Excavating, for construction stormwater violations in Alexandria.
• Minn-Dak Asphalt, Inc., for industrial wastewater violations in Thief River Falls.
• Norsemen Motorcycle Club, for construction stormwater violations in Wagner Township.
• Northern Property, LLC, for construction stormwater violations in Lindstrom.
• Maschler Septic Consultants, for subsurface sewage treatment system violations in Brainerd.
• Archon Woodworks, Inc., for air quality violations in Wood Lake.
• M&J Construction Co. – Nonmetallic, for air quality violations in Newfolden.
• Central Specialties, Inc., for construction stormwater violations in Greenwald.
• Roger Kriese, for solid waste violations in Mendota Heights.
• Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency, for air quality violations in Mora.
• Mark Johnson, for solid waste violations in Rochester.
• Rajala Mill Co., for air quality violations in Bigfork.
• Marshall Concrete Products, Inc., for industrial wastewater violations in Minneapolis.
• Mercy Hospital - Unity Campus, for air quality violations in Fridley.
• Aggregate Industries, for industrial wastewater violations in Glyndon.
• City of La Crescent, for municipal stormwater violations in La Crescent.
• Auto Body Center, for air quality violations in Rochester.
• ERP Iron Ore LLC - Plant 4, for air quality violations in Grand Rapids.
• City of Saint Louis Park, for industrial wastewater violations in St. Louis Park
• Park Rapids Aviation Paint Facility, for air quality violations in Park Rapids.
• DS Manufacturing, Inc., for hazardous waste violations in Pine Island.
• Ogston's Body & Paint, for air quality violations in Duluth.
• Element Fleet Corp., for air quality violations in Eden Prairie.
• Oronoco Auto Parts, Inc., for air quality violations in Oronoco.
• Cedar Creek CPA, CMA, for air quality violations in Aitkin.
• Northeast Technical Services, Inc., for air quality violations in Grand Rapids.
• Winchester Interconnect Hermetics LLC, for industrial wastewater violations in Fridley.
• Amanda Swartzentruber and Eli J. Swartzentruber, for subsurface sewage treatment system violations in Canton.
• Lakehead Trucking, Inc., for subsurface sewage treatment system violation in Duluth.
• Robert Thompson, for solid waste violations in Chatfield.
• Carstens Industries, Inc., for air quality violations in Melrose.
• Darrel Frauendienst d/b/a Gaylord Sanitation Roll Off, for construction stormwater violations in Gaylord.
• Gerald Hohlen d/b/a Hohlen Excavating & Sewer, for subsurface sewage treatment system violations in Bock.
• Hearth and Home Technologies, Inc., for air quality violations in Lake City.
• Hunke Fuel Station LLC, for construction stormwater violations in Wadena.
More details on all 118 cases completed during the first half of 2020 can be found on the MPCA’s Compliance and Enforcement web page.