Stephen Mikkelson, 218-0316-3887
Brainerd, Minn. ― The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has penalized Lunda Construction Company for stormwater violations resulting from two bridge replacement projects near Princeton, Minn., in Mille Lacs County. The bridges, near the intersection of State Highway 95 and County Highway 29, both cross a stretch of the Rum River that is protected by more stringent construction stormwater requirements.
According to MPCA staff inspection reports, the construction sites lacked sufficient erosion controls, sediment control berms, silt fencing, infiltration basins, and filtering buffer strips, which are especially important along the banks of a river. Because these practices were not properly in place, erosion occurred, and sediment-laden stormwater was allowed to enter the Rum River during construction.
The violations were discovered during inspections between July and November, 2010. In addition to paying a $17,500 penalty, the company also completed a series of corrective actions to bring the sites back into compliance with stormwater rules and regulations.
When calculating penalties, the MPCA takes into account how seriously the violation affected the environment, whether it is a first time or repeat violation, and how promptly the violation was reported to appropriate authorities. The agency also attempts to recover the calculated economic benefit the violator gained by failing to comply with environmental laws in a timely manner. For a comprehensive list of enforcement actions by the MPCA, refer to the agency’s web site at www.pca.state.mn.us.