Duluth aircraft manufacturer’s late air emissions reports trigger current penalty

Contact: Anne Perry Moore, 218-302-6605

Cirrus Design Corporation and Cirrus Aircraft Corporation have agreed to pay a $50,000 penalty and complete three compliance actions as part of a Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) air quality enforcement agreement, the agency announced today.

The parties began manufacturing aircraft in Duluth in 1993. At that time, there were no emission sources requiring state air quality permits. By 2015, operations had changed and they received a state air emissions permit and belatedly filed compliance reports dating from 2002 through 2013.

Those reports provided information that indicated the parties had failed to obtain necessary air emissions permits prior to new construction of, or making major modification to, air emissions sources at the Duluth production facility. As a result, there was no reduction or control of the sources’ air emissions. The pollutants included particulate matter (dust), volatile organic compounds (commonly-found chemicals in industrial and manufacturing processes such as solvents, coatings and adhesives), and other airborne toxins.

In addition to paying the penalty, the parties are also required to pay unpaid air emissions fees, submit an air emissions control analysis and related application, and submit missing annual reports from November 2002 to the present.

The stipulation agreement is one tool that the MPCA uses to achieve compliance with environmental laws. When calculating penalties, the MPCA takes into account how seriously the violation affected the environment, whether it was a first time or repeat violation and how promptly the violation was reported to appropriate authorities.  The agency also attempts to recover the calculated economic benefit gained by failure to comply with environmental laws in a timely manner.

For more information MPCA enforcement policies and practices, visit the agency's Enforcement webpage.