Media Contact: Barbara Skoglund, 651-296-5965
Technical Contact: Jason Moran, 651-297-8660
Saint Paul, Minn. -- LSP in Cottage Grove has agreed to modify its procedures, donate $5,000 for the purchase of community spill response equipment and pay a $25,000 civil penalty to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) for alleged hazardous waste violations at their power plant.
In June 2005, LSP placed liquid waste from boiler cleaning in a rented storage container. Approximately 1,200 gallons of hazardous waste liquid leaked out of the container and into the soil the following July. The MPCA and the Washington County Environmental Department discovered that the container was not suited for the job and that the waste reacted with exposed metal, causing the container to leak. In addition, the container was not properly labeled or stored, and the company did not meet some of the training and planning requirements of hazardous waste generators.
An agreement between LSP and the MPCA resolves these problems. In addition to the civil penalty, LSP contributed $5,000 to Wakota Community Awareness and Emergency Response for the purchase of spill response equipment. Wakota CAER is a nonprofit organization that encourages interagency coordination and cooperation in responding to emergencies and disasters in southern Washington and northern Dakota counties. Members include government, industry, school districts, and emergency response agencies.
Stipulation agreements such as this are one of the tools used by the MPCA 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, go to the agency Web site at/newscenter/enforcement.html.