Contact: Sam Brungardt, 651-757-2249
St. Paul, Minn. -- The city of Minneapolis has agreed to pay $13,300 to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) for alleged environmental violations at its Fridley Dewatering Plant, 4300 Marshall St. N.E.
The MPCA documented a number of alleged violations at the dewatering plant and by contractors who haul lime sludge from the plant for application to fields as agricultural lime.
The dewatering plant reported spills from its coagulation basin to the Mississippi River, an Outstanding Resource Value Water and a commercial waterway, on Aug. 7, 2007, and Oct. 22, 2008. An inspection by MPCA staff, following the October 2008 event, revealed a three- to four-foot-wide band of white material, extending 50-75 feet from the plant's storm sewer outlet, which had accumulated on the river bottom as a result of the spill.
Once in 2007 and five times in 2008, spills from trucks carrying lime sludge from the dewatering plant were not immediately reported by the hauler to the MPCA via the Minnesota Duty Officer, as required by law.
In addition to paying the penalty, Minneapolis has updated its residual solids management plan, which outlines the lime sludge loading process at the treatment plant and oversight and quality assurance responsibilities that the city employs at the plant to prevent or minimize spills and releases.. The city has also modified the language of its contracts to ensure that haulers are aware of requirements for timely reporting and cleanup of spills of dewatered lime sludge.
Minneapolis is currently planning upgrades at the Fridley Dewatering Plant that will phase out the lime lagoon treatment area and update facility operations for an improved dewatering process.
The MPCA offers outreach and training to help facilities that have the potential to pollute the state's waters. For more information on water quality regulations, visit the agency's Web site at http://www.pca.state.mn.us.
A complete list of enforcement actions that the MPCA has taken is available at/newscenter/enforcement.html.