Contact: Stephen Mikkelson, 218-316-3887
Brainerd, Minn. -- Bill Tulenchik and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) recently reached an agreement that required him to pay $20,000 for alleged feedlot violations. The violations occurred at Tulenchik’s beef and dairy facilities in Cass County.
According to MPCA feedlot staff inspection reports in 2008, Tulenchik expanded his feedlots without notifying authorities and failed to obtain required permits. One feedlot held more than 900 head of cattle, and a state permit is required when a feedlot exceeds 300 head. Another feedlot held more than 1,000 head of cattle, which exceeds the threshold to require a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit. Tulenchik had not obtained these permits prior to the expansions.
Further inspections also revealed that two of the feedlots had released manure and manure-contaminated runoff into area wetlands. The MPCA was not notified of these releases, and there was no visible attempt to recover the runoff.
In addition to paying the $20,000 civil penalty, Tulenchik must also complete a series of corrective actions.
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, refer to the agency website at www.pca.state.mn.us/newscenter/enforcement.html.