Media Contact: Michael Rafferty, (651) 297-8294
Technical Contact: Jason Moran, (651) 296-8109
St. Paul, Minn. -- Gopher Resource Corp. of Eagan will pay a $10,000 penalty and perform a $55,000 environmental improvement project for the improper management of hazardous waste, according to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA).
Alleged violations included treating some hazardous waste as industrial solid waste, failing to manifest hazardous waste for shipment and failing to label and cover hazardous waste containers. Nearly 2,300 tons of hazardous waste, primarily slag residue generated from melting metal, were improperly disposed of at the Onyx Forest City Road Landfill in Wright County. After discovery of the violation, Gopher Resource Corp., located at 3384 Hwy. 149, treated the waste at the landfill, rendering it non-hazardous before it was reburied. All violations identified by the MPCA have been corrected.
The company will fund a project assisting homeowners with the costs for properly testing, excavating and managing waste from homes with lead acid batteries or casings buried and incorporated into septic systems. Between the 1960s and the 1980s, batteries and casings were used to provide drainage around some residential septic systems. Gravel is commonly used today. Homeowners often don't discover that batteries or casings were used until plumbing or septic work is done.
Homeowners who suspect they have septic system contamination from lead acid batteries can contact Mike Rafferty at (651) 297-8294 or Jason Moran at (651) 296-8109 to determine if they are eligible for financial assistance from this environmental project.
Stipulation agreements are one of the MPCA's many tools used to achieve compliance with environmental laws. 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. It also attempts to recover the calculated economic benefit gained by failure to comply with environmental laws in a timely manner. For a comprehensive list of enforcement actions by the MPCA, refer to the agency Web site at:/newscenter/enforcement.html