Ardent Mills in Hastings failed to conduct more than 300 daily emission inspections, among other violations

Contact: Stephen Mikkelson, 218-316-3887

According to a Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) enforcement investigation, Ardent Mills, LLC, failed to submit required notifications prior to dismantling and removing air emissions equipment, and starting construction projects to startup new equipment at its flour mill in Hastings.

Other violations included:

  • Missing performance stack tests for particulate matter.
  • Failing to conduct daily inspections and keep records of visible emissions and pressure drops on more than 300 occasions.
  • Failing to report fabric filter pressure drops that were out of permitted range on more than 40 occasions.
  • Missing two annual pressure calibrations.
  • Failing to submit required major permit amendments.

In addition to paying a $33,311 civil penalty to the MPCA, the company has completed a series of corrective actions, including submitting:

  • Major permit amendments.
  • A plan to conduct daily inspections and train staff accordingly.
  • A plan to ensure future projects will adhere to permitted changes.
  • A plan to ensure pressure differentials remain in permitted ranges.

MPCA rules and regulations are designed to protect human health and the environment by limiting pollution emissions and discharges from facilities. When companies do not fully comply with regulatory requirements, the resulting pollution can be harmful to people and the environment.

When calculating penalties, the MPCA takes into account how seriously the violations affected or could have affected the environment, and whether they were first-time or repeat violations. The agency also attempts to recover the economic benefit the company gained by failing to comply with environmental laws in a timely manner.