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Media Contact: Nancy Miller (507) 280-3590
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Rochester, Minn. -- The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) announced today that B & H Petroleum of Mankato, Minn. has agreed to pay a $30,000 civil penalty and discontinue the practice of dismantling waste storage tanks.
During a November 2001 inspection of B & H Petroleum, a petroleum storage tank installation, upgrading and demolition facility, MPCA staff documented several pollution concerns. Some of the alleged violations at the site include failure to evaluate wastes, improper accumulation and management of hazardous wastes and failure to obtain required permits.
The company allegedly failed to evaluate, store and handle waste liquids and sludges that were removed from tanks cleaned and dismantled at the facility. Other items accepted for disposal such as waste fuel filters, circuit boards and electronics from demolition projects were stored improperly around the site.
B & H Petroleum also failed to train employees to ensure compliance with hazardous waste regulations, and did not maintain a contingency plan designed to minimize hazards to human health and the environment should an accident occur involving materials at the site. In addition, the company did not obtain a hazardous waste facility permit from the MPCA before storing hazardous wastes at the site and allegedly failed to report the release of wastes from tanks stored at the facility.
The violations stemmed mainly from incorrect processing and demolition of old storage tanks at the facility. B & H Petroleum no longer processes waste tanks, therefore no additional actions are necessary to bring the facility into compliance. Wastes that had previously accumulated at the site have been shipped offsite for proper disposal.
Agreements such as these are one of the MPCA's many tools used to achieve compliance with environmental laws. When calculating penalties, MPCA staff take into account how seriously the violation(s) affected the environment, whether it is a first time or repeat violation and how promptly the violation was reported to appropriate authorities. For a comprehensive list of enforcement actions by the MPCA, refer to the agency Web site at/newscenter/enforcement.html.