News release

July 29, 2022

Contact

Stephen Mikkelson, 218-316-3887, stephen.mikkelson@state.mn.us

Nationwide DI Water Solutions, Central Specialties, Liberty Tire Services among 148 compliance and enforcement cases at MPCA in first half of 2022

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) closed 148 enforcement cases for air quality, waste, stormwater, and wastewater violations in the first half of 2022. Environmental enforcement investigations often take several months, in some cases more than a year, to complete the investigation and issue final enforcement documents to regulated parties. Penalties are calculated using several factors, including harm done to the environment, the economic benefit the company gained by failing to comply with environmental laws, or how responsive and cooperative a regulated party was in correcting problems.

Imposing monetary penalties is only part of the MPCA’s enforcement process. Agency staff continue to provide assistance, support, and information on the steps and tools necessary to bring any company, individual, or local government back into compliance. 

More details on all 148 cases completed during the first half of 2022 can be found on the MPCA’s Compliance and enforcement web page.

Enforcement cases with net penalty amounts of $5,000 or more (Jan. - June 2022)

Public date Company or individual(s) Violation location Violation(s) Net penalty
5/11/2022 3M Company Cottage Grove Hazardous Waste - The MPCA's two-year-long investigation revealed a series of hazardous waste violations at the company's Cottage Grove facility, dating back to 1996. $2,844,694
6/13/2022 Nationwide DI Water Solutions LLC Elgin Industrial Wastewater - The company exceeded its permitted wastewater discharge limits for zinc and copper for most of 2020 and 2021, at its ion exchange resin recharge facility in Elgin. $23,775
5/12/2022 Central Specialties, Inc. Alexandria Air Quality - The company failed to properly calculate air pollutants, exceeded air pollutant emissions, submitted late semiannual and annual reports, and failed to keep various required records. Violations were related to their three portable hot mix asphalt plants. $22,750
2/9/2022 Liberty Tire Services of Ohio, LLC Savage Industrial Stormwater - The company allowed tire shreds to enter the City of Savage storm sewer system and wash into nearby Eagle Creek, a designated trout stream. This was discovered in 2019. $22,000
4/12/2022 Hartel's Disposal LLC Proctor Industrial Stormwater - The company discharged used motor oil and automotive fluids from a network of floor drains directly onto the ground around two of its buildings located in Proctor. The company also failed to stop the discharges and clean up the contamination. $20,000
3/9/2022 Fairview Township Fairview Township Construction Stormwater - Fairview Township and Gladen Construction, Inc., failed to adequately prevent erosion and sediment runoff along a four-mile stretch during construction of the Fairview portion of the Gull Lake Trail project during fall 2021. Nearly 1,500 square feet of sediment, carried by stormwater runoff, flowed into four different wetlands and a stream that were all adjacent to the trail. $16,710
3/9/2022 Gladen Construction, Inc. Fairview Township Construction Stormwater - Fairview Township and Gladen Construction, Inc., failed to adequately prevent erosion and sediment runoff along a four-mile stretch during construction of the Fairview portion of the Gull Lake Trail project during fall 2021. Nearly 1,500 square feet of sediment, carried by stormwater runoff, flowed into four different wetlands and a stream that were all adjacent to the trail. $16,710
1/3/2022 Green Plains Otter Tail LLC Fergus Falls Industrial Wastewater - The company violated its combined wastewater and stormwater permit numerous times over the last three years at its ethanol production facility near Fergus Falls. $14,812
6/27/2022 RJ Zavoral and Sons Inc. Pennington County Air Quality - The company exceeded air pollutant emissions, failed to complete equipment performance tests for up to four years, and failed to keep various required equipment inspection records. The violations are associated with two of the company's portable hot mix asphalt plants and two portable rock crushing plants. $14,490
6/23/2022 POET Biorefining - Glenville, LLC Albert Lea Industrial Wastewater - The company exceeded its permitted stormwater discharge limits, including total suspended solids and carbonaceous biochemical oxygen demand (CBOD), the measurement of dissolved oxygen depletion in wastewater released into a body of water. $12,029
3/30/2022 Aspen Hills Homeowners Association Elk River Municipal Wastewater - The Association's wastewater treatment plant in Elk River consistently discharged excess phosphorus, suspended solids, and fecal coliform above permitted limits into nearby Tibbets Brook, an impaired water, from 2019 to 2021. $11,275
3/9/2022 Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company, LLLP Benson Aboveground Tanks - The company constructed and installed a 200,000-gallon ethanol storage tank in November 2021 without required MPCA review and approval. The permit violations occurred at the company's ethanol production facility near Benson. $11,150
4/11/2022 Dwayne Stiernagle Farm Hartland Feedlots - Manure was pumped from the facility to a nearby field that drains to County Ditch 43 and eventually Cobb Creek. That contamination resulted in a fish kill in the creek. $9,975
3/1/2022 Cody Penning Beaver Creek Feedlots - Liquid swine manure was land applied at a rate higher than the permitted limit, causing manure to flow to a nearby stream and threaten groundwater sources. $9,650
2/2/2022 Liberty Ponds Association c/o Gaughan Association Management Wyoming Municipal Wastewater - The facility pumped at least 10,000 gallons of untreated wastewater to a swale area next to a wetland area. This unauthorized release impacted the wetland, which is considered waters of the state. $8,700
2/9/2022 Lake West Development, LLC Chanhassen Construction Stormwater - The company began construction of Glendale Drive Homes residential development without applying for and receiving required permits. The company was also missing requirements in the Stormwater pollution prevention plan and failed to conduct the required weekly and rain-event inspections. $6,450
1/10/2022 Joe Varner Pillager Feedlots - Discharged liquid manure and manure-contaminated runoff that flowed across an unpermitted lot and impacted nearby Seven Mile Creek. $6,400
2/16/2022 Valley Paving Inc. Shakopee Air Quality - The facility exceeded particulate matter emissions by nearly 50% above its permitted limit in May of 2020. The issue has since been resolved. $6,350
6/9/2022 Felling Trailers, Inc. Sauk Centre Hazardous Waste - The company failed to properly label several containers of waste paint and related materials as hazardous waste. Proper labeling is required as a safety measure for employees and emergency personnel. $6,260
1/19/2022 Jerry's Pumping LLC Villard Feedlots - The company applied liquid manure in a manner that caused a discharge of liquid manure and manure-contaminated runoff into an open tile intake that flows into waters of the state, specifically nearby Seven Mile Creek. $5,850

Enforcement cases with net penalty amounts of less than $5,000 (Jan. - June 2022)

  • City of Oslo, for municipal wastewater violations.
  • Bell Plaine Block & Tile Co., for industrial stormwater violations in Belle Plaine.
  • City of Hibbing, for municipal wastewater violations.
  • Jason Seitz and Wes Plumbing & Heating, for subsurface sewage treatment system violations in Bemidji.
  • CrossAmerica Partners LP, for underground storage tank violations in Fairmont.
  • Nikate Storage Owners’ Assoc., for construction stormwater violations in La Prairie.
  • Ende Septic Service, for subsurface sewage treatment system violations in Rogers.
  • Trevor Scherber, for construction stormwater violations in Watertown.
  • Workshops of Watertown LLC, for construction stormwater violations in Watertown.
  • Brent Anderson, for construction stormwater violations in Brainerd.
  • Duininck, Inc., for air quality violations in Prinsburg.
  • Westin Property Development LLC, for construction stormwater violations in Brainerd.
  • Rockford Holdings LLC, c/o Bigfork Valley Log Cabins, for construction stormwater violations in Rockford.
  • The Northwoods Development Group LLC, for construction stormwater violations in Rockford.
  • Kerry Inc., for air quality violations in Rochester.
  • LendTerra MHP LLC, for municipal wastewater violations in Salol.
  • Cummins Power Systems, for air quality violations in Fridley.
  • Thomas Thompson, for solid waste violations in Aitkin.
  • Brandon Zubke, Zubke Excavating Inc., for subsurface sewage treatment system violations in Laporte.
  • George Bougalis & Sons Co., for construction stormwater violations in Virginia.
  • Cabinetworks Group Michigan LLC, for air quality violations in Waconia.
  • Bemidji Bituminous Inc., for air quality violations in Bemidji.
  • TW Hauling and Excavating Inc., for subsurface sewage treatment system violations in Zimmerman.
  • City of Mountain Iron, for hazardous waste violations.
  • Gilleland Chevrolet Inc., dba St. Cloud Collision Center, for hazardous waste violations in St. Cloud.
  • Anderson Custom Processing Inc., for industrial wastewater violations in Little Falls.
  • Swine Services Unlimited Inc., for feedlot violations in Park Rapids.
  • Ulland Brothers Inc., for industrial wastewater violations in Cloquet.
  • Spectro Alloys Corporation, for air quality violations in Rosemount.
  • Boit Excavating LLC, for solid waste violations in Detroit Lakes and Audubon.
  • Scott Starkson, for subsurface sewage treatment system violations in Dodge Center.
  • Sharon Koch, for subsurface sewage treatment system violations in Trimont.
  • Gerald Hohlen, dba Hohlen Excavating & Sewer, for subsurface sewage treatment system violations in Bock.
  • Minnesota State Colleges & Universities, for hazardous waste violations in Rochester.
  • Lutsen Mountain Lodge LLC, Teri Chilefone, James Coleman, for solid waste violations in Lutsen.
  • Bob Warzecha, for construction stormwater violations in Breezy Point.
  • All State Septic Services, for subsurface sewage treatment system violations in Stillwater.
  • Milden and Marlene Arndt, for subsurface sewage treatment system violations in Blue Earth.
  • Richard Schneiter Property, for subsurface sewage treatment system violations in Byron.
  • Hammers Construction Inc., for construction stormwater violations in Perham.
  • Grow Perham LLC, for construction stormwater violations in Perham.
  • Breezy Point Airport Inc., for construction stormwater violations in Breezy Point.
  • Heidelberger Farm Equipment LLC, for construction stormwater violations in Pine City.