Contact: Stephen Mikkelson, 218-316-3887
Brainerd, Minn. -- Nexus Diversified Community Services, NOR-SON Incorporated and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) recently reached an agreement that required the companies to pay a $33,250 civil penalty for alleged stormwater violations at an 11-acre construction site near Onamia, in Mille Lacs County.
According to MPCA staff inspection reports in 2009, the companies failed to maintain silt fences and did not have proper slope stabilization, and erosion and sediment controls in place, which allowed three to four acres of area wetlands to be impacted by sediment runoff. An unreported hydraulic oil spill also affecting 1,000 square feet of wetland, and sediment and construction debris was found in the woods near the site. The construction site is surrounded by four wetland systems, one of which drains into the Rum River, just south of Onamia.
In addition to paying the $33,250 civil penalty, the companies have completed a series of actions to correct identified problems.
When any type of construction activity affects more than one acre of soil, a stormwater permit is required. The MPCA offers outreach and training to owners and operators in the construction trade. More information about stormwater regulations is available at www.pca.state.mn.us.
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 Web site at www.pca.state.mn.us/newscenter/enforcement.html.