Contact: Dan Olson, 218-846-8108
Detroit Lakes, Minn. ― BGR Dairy has agreed to pay a $12,075 penalty to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and take corrective actions to address alleged compliance violations at its dairy feedlot operation near Lake Park, in Becker County.
In November 2010, MPCA staff conducted a compliance inspection at the facility. They observed noncompliant conditions that included a manure spill next to one of two liquid manure storage areas, lack of depth markers and damage to the liquid-manure-storage areas, three paddocks being used as open lots without MPCA approval and containing pools of manure-contaminated runoff, an unauthorized drain, and an unpermitted barn and associated open lot without runoff controls. These deficiencies had not been reported to the MPCA as required. In addition, a review of aerial photos in January 2011 showed an unpermitted expansion of the feed storage area pad occurred between 2008 and 2009.
BGR Dairy has taken steps to correct the alleged deficiencies and must complete all corrective actions by Dec. 1, 2011. These include allowing no more than 50 head of cattle to have access to two open lots and closing two lots, submitting a complete application for a NPDES/SDS discharge permit, submitting complete plans for managing wastewater from the feed storage area and open lots, and repairing and installing depth markers in the liquid-manure-storage areas.
The penalty that BGR Dairy will pay was the result of a stipulation agreement, one of the tools that 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 was a first-time or repeat violation, and how promptly the violation was reported to appropriate authorities. The agency also attempts to recover the calculated economic benefit gained by failure to comply with environmental laws in a timely manner. For more information, go to the MPCA website at http://www.pca.state.mn.us.