Contact: Forrest Peterson, 320-441-6972
St. Paul, Minn. -- A beef processing company in Buffalo Lake will pay a $40,000 civil penalty for alleged violations of wastewater, permitting, and other hazardous waste rules. In an agreement with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), North Star Beef, Minnesota Beef and William Gilger will pay the civil penalty and complete work to correct the violations.
The beef-processing operation generates wastewater and industrial by-products including manure and contaminated wash water. MPCA inspections in March documented unauthorized discharges, mismanagement of land application, and record-keeping violations. Inspectors observed the mishandling of waste resulting in an unapproved discharge of blood, water and manure into a road ditch. They also noted land application of waste within setbacks from waters and improper handing of old batteries and used oil.
The agreement requires the company to submit plans to prevent unpermitted discharges, establish a sampling and compliance plan, and design and implement an environmental management system.
A stipulation agreement is one of the tools the MPCA uses 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, visit www.pca.state.mn.us/newscenter/enforcement.html.
The MPCA offers training for companies that generate wastewater and hazardous waste to help them meet their environmental responsibilities. Learn more at www.pca.state.mn.us/events/index.html.