3M, American Crystal Sugar, Archer Daniel Midland among 90 compliance and enforcement cases at MPCA in first half of 2021

Contact: Stephen Mikkelson 218-316-3887

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) closed 90 enforcement cases for air quality, waste, stormwater, and wastewater violations in the first half of 2021. 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.

Enforcement cases with net penalty amounts of $5,000 or more

January - June 2021

Public date

Company or individual(s)

Violation location

Violation(s)

Net penalty amount

4/13/2021

Water Gremlin Company

White Bear Township

Hazardous waste, industrial stormwater — Failed to properly manage oil and hazardous wastes to prevent leaks. Leaked material mixed with stormwater and drained to a pond and wetland on the property.

$325,000

4/19/2021

3M Company

Cottage Grove

Hazardous waste — Failed to properly store hazardous waste containers; allowed open container of hydrofluoric acid, an extremely toxic compound, to spread vapors in the building. Stored another 901 containers of hydrofluoric acid, some with bulging barrel lids, throughout the facility. Didn’t report unpermitted air pollution with the potential to endanger human health.

$80,000

6/7/2021

Kerry Biofunctional Ingredients Inc.

Rochester

Industrial wastewater — Failed to properly characterize and sample industrial byproduct that was spread on land as a soil amendment, allowed two unauthorized industrial wastewater discharges to area wetlands, failed to properly monitor its stormwater and obtain a stormwater permit for its warehouse, and didn’t meet deadlines for reapplying for other required permits.

$28,170

1/21/2021

City of Hibbing

Hibbing

Air quality — Improperly operated coal-burning boilers at a district heating plant, resulting in excess air pollution.

$26,947

5/18/2021

Lakehead Trucking Inc

Duluth

Industrial stormwater — Allowed used oil and other automotive fluids from floor drains to flow into the ground rather than a proper disposal system, contaminating the soil around the facility. Began sand and gravel mining operations at two sites without obtaining required industrial and construction stormwater permits. Improperly stored used oil and oil filters.

$23,000

3/26/2021

Jordan Sands LLC

Mankato

Industrial wastewater — Failed to monitor numerous pollutant parameters, verify the accuracy of meters designed to monitor flow and discharges, and implement corrective actions to achieve limits on certain pollutants in its discharges. Between 2014 and 2019, nearly 190 required reports were submitted late or not at all.

$20,000

2/9/2021

Northstar Materials Inc. dba Knife River Materials

Bemidji

Industrial wastewater — Discharged sediment-laden mine pit water to surface waters, causing nuisance conditions; failed to report the problem as required and recover the sediment that left the site.

$17,525

5/11/2021

Archer-Daniels-Midland Company

Red Wing

Air quality — Incorrectly reported emissions, failed air quality performance tests, and failed to meet pollution control equipment design requirements.

$16,330

1/29/2021

Arnt Construction Company Inc.; Washington County

Willernie

Construction stormwater — A malfunctioning vacuum truck discharged sediment and sediment-laden water into an adjacent wetland. Failed to report incident as required and promptly recover and clean up discharge. Failed to install required protections for 21 storm drains at the site, to block sediment runoff.

$12,000

3/25/2021

Wm D Scepaniak Inc

Holdingford

Industrial wastewater — Discharged sediment-laden mine pit water to surface waters, causing nuisance conditions. Failed to report the problem as required and recover the sediment that left the site. Operated without a required permit.

$11,030

3/15/2021

Brian Moehrke dba Blackhoof Valley Ranch LLC

Wrenshall

Construction stormwater — Failed to obtain required permits prior to construction and install proper stormwater runoff and sediment controls, which resulted in polluting of nearby trout streams.

$9,966

4/12/2021

Mathy Construction Company

Rochester

Industrial wastewater — Failed to properly manage stormwater runoff at a limestone mining facility, which drained to a trout stream.

$9,938

1/12/2021

Alliance Building Corporation

Gaylord

Construction stormwater — Failed to stabilize exposed soils, properly install required stormwater controls, and minimize sediment runoff at an apartment-construction site.

$9,348

4/15/2021

Jordan Sands LLC

Mankato

Air quality — Failed to conduct required air emissions tests and internal inspections, and submitted required emission and inspection reports late for several years.

$9,120

1/11/2021

American Crystal Sugar Company

Moorhead

Industrial wastewater — Did not properly clean and maintain seven sugar-beet piling sites, allowing untreated runoff to enter waters of the state.

$9,000

4/29/2021

Northshore Mining Company

Silver Bay

Industrial wastewater — Failed to maintain and monitor a tailings basin, and about 20,000 gallons of industrial wastewater flowed onto the ground. Rain and snow melt ran off stockpiles of coal, petroleum coke, flux, sage, and iron ore and into Lake Superior.

$8,938

3/26/2021

Hibbing Taconite Co.

Hibbing

Industrial wastewater — Allowed multiple discharges of tailings, sediment, and sediment-laden stormwater into area wetlands, harming them and their aquatic life.

$8,600

3/12/2021

Magellan Midstream Partners L.P.

Mankato

Aboveground tanks — Failed to obtain a permit modification required for construction on a large storage tank at its Mankato Terminal.

$7,550

4/15/2021

Olmsted County

Byron

Construction stormwater — Failed to obtain required permits for a road construction project. Didn’t have proper stormwater and sediment controls in place, posing a pollution risk to a creek on the site.

$7,350

5/25/2021

Stenger's Septic Pumping; Tyler M Stenger

Detroit Lakes

Subsurface sewage treatment systems — Failed to properly monitor and treat domestic septage as it was pumped and transported for disposal.

$7,200

1/22/2021

CHS Hallock LLC

Kennedy

Air quality — Emitted particulate matter at levels that exceeded the facility’s permit limits by 55% to 75% over a three-day period.

$7,185

2/25/2021

US Steel Corp - Minntac

Mountain Iron

Industrial wastewater — Failed to implement a contingency plan to properly pump, collect, and store seepage from tailings basins during a planned power outage, causing a wastewater discharge to nearby Dark River.

$7,140

3/1/2021

Hooper Creek Investments LLC

Baudette

Construction stormwater — Failed to obtain required permits prior to beginning a road construction project. Failed to install proper stormwater and sediment-runoff controls.

$7,125

3/19/2021

Hood Packaging Corporation

Arden Hills

Air quality — Emitted significant amounts of volatile organic compounds when pollution-control equipment was not operating. Failed to keep proper air emissions records.

$6,948

5/6/2021

American Crystal Sugar Company

Crookston

Industrial wastewater — Allowed several unauthorized releases of wastewater, and failed to properly maintain equipment to ensure efficient operation.

$6,839

4/15/2021

Heartland Corn Products

Winthrop

Industrial wastewater — Failed to document or properly manage drain tiles from a stormwater pond, which resulted in a discharge of about 160,000 gallons of stormwater to the lands around the pond.

$6,537

4/23/2021

Neil Hansen

Truman

Feedlots — Allowed liquid manure to flow into a neighboring crop field, risking contamination of groundwater; failed to report or clean up spill. Failed to monitor or properly maintain a liquid manure storage area, which then overflowed.

$6,100

6/3/2021

Pasano Properties LLC

Pine River

Construction Stormwater - A Pine River area subdivision/plat project was started before the company obtained the required MPCA permits and developed a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP). The work site was lacking down gradient perimeter controls and proper storm drain inlet protection. The company also failed to have a properly trained individual on site to conduct the required inspections.

$5,917

5/13/2021

Young Men’s Christian Association of Austin

Austin

Industrial wastewater — Discharged about 123,000 gallons of untreated, chlorine-contaminated swimming pool water to a city storm sewer that drains to Mill Pond/Cedar River.

$5,850

Enforcement cases with net penalty amounts of less than $5,000

January - June 2021

  • Wisconsin Central LTD, for industrial wastewater violations in Proctor.
  • City of Baudette, for municipal wastewater violations in Baudette.
  • Spectrum Metal Finishing Inc., for hazardous waste violations in Isle.
  • Red Lake Gaming Enterprises Inc., for municipal wastewater violations in Thief River Falls.
  • DeZurik Inc., for air quality violations in Sartell.
  • Alumacraft Boat Co., for air quality violations in St. Peter.
  • Gold Coast of Bemidji, for municipal wastewater violations in Bemidji.
  • Bondhus Corporation, for hazardous waste and industrial stormwater violations in Monticello.
  • Sabri Properties LLC, for solid waste violations in Minneapolis.
  • CHS Inc., for air quality violations in Fairmont.
  • David and Paul Doehling, for feedlot violations in Arlington.
  • BASF Corporation, for air quality violations in Sabin.
  • Cirrus Design Corp., for air quality violations in Duluth.
  • Keith Schaefer (Evergreen Acres Dairy LLC), for feedlot violations in Morgan.
  • Denco II LLC, for air quality violations in Morris.
  • M&M Contractors and Matthew J. Miranowski, for subsurface sewage treatment system violations in Breckenridge.
  • Alliance Building Corp., for construction stormwater violations in Sauk Rapids.
  • Premier Real Estate Services LLC, for construction stormwater violations in Sauk Rapids.
  • Dylan Tonce, for solid waste violations in Bemidji.
  • City of Grand Rapids, for municipal wastewater violations in Grand Rapids.
  • Hansen & Company Woodworks Inc., for hazardous waste violations in St. Joseph.
  • CHS Inc., for industrial wastewater violations in Mankato.
  • Clinton Community Clinic Inc., for construction stormwater violations in Clinton.
  • Palleton of Minnesota Inc., for industrial wastewater violations in Austin.
  • Border Construction LLC, for construction stormwater violations in Detroit Lakes.
  • Eg & Co. Properties LLC, for construction stormwater violations in Detroit Lakes.
  • Julie A. Lanners Revoc Trust, for solid waste violations in Royalton.
  • Jacqueline Yavarow, for hazardous waste violations in Farwell.
  • Hollerman Family Dairy Inc., for feedlot violations in Burtrum.
  • Manthei Complete Septic Service, for subsurface sewage treatment system violations in Wabasha.
  • Runestone Electric Assoc., for hazardous waste violations in Alexandria.
  • Crestone Builders Inc., for construction stormwater violations in Clinton.
  • Alexander Sandy, for solid waste violations in Long Prairie.
  • Nathan Tungland, for solid waste violations in Elmore.
  • L&B Excavating Inc., for subsurface sewage treatment system violations in Menahga.
  • Essentia Health Graceville, for hazardous waste violations in Graceville.
  • Esten J. Nelson, for construction stormwater violations in Grand Marais.
  • Barnett’s Sewer Service LLC, for subsurface sewage treatment system violations in Pillager.
  • JMW Enterprises Inc., for hazardous waste violations in Rushford.
  • Environmental Well and Septic, for subsurface sewage treatment system violations in Spicer.
  • LeRoy Starkson, for subsurface sewage treatment system violations in Dodge Center.
  • Mala Mills LLC, for construction stormwater violations in Little Falls.
  • Gene and Gayle Reiland, for solid waste violations in Spring Valley.
  • Dudziak LLC, for hazardous waste violations in Cedar.
  • NPS Enterprises LLC, for hazardous waste violations in Nicollet.
  • Whitecap Mfg. LLC, for hazardous waste violations in Shakopee.

More details on all 90 cases completed during the first half of 2021 can be found on the MPCA’s Compliance and Enforcement web page.