Despatch Industries penalized for air quality violations

Contact: Taylor Holland, 651-757-2385

St. Paul, Minn. — The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) penalized Despatch Industries Limited Partnership, which operates an industrial process furnace and oven manufacturing facility in Lakeville, Minn., for multiple air quality violations.

Despatch operated three paint booths and self-disclosed to the MPCA in 2013 that the facility did not have the necessary air permits over a 32 year period.

Since 1981, Despatch failed to obtain an air permit required prior to the start of construction and operation of the facility. The facility did not submit an annual emission inventory report. Despatch had several more violations including exceeding a federal hazardous air pollutant emission limit ranging from 355-619 percent.

In order to achieve compliance with the federal hazardous air pollutant emission limit, Despatch switched two of its three wet paint guns to a low-emissions powder coating process. The remaining wet paint gun now operates with low volatile organic compounds (VOC) paint.

To resolve the violations, Despatch agreed to pay a civil penalty of $95,000 to the MPCA.

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, visit the agency's Summary of Enforcement Actions webpage.