Contact: Stephen Mikkelson, 218-316-3887
Ever Cat Fuels, LLC, will pay a $300,000 civil penalty to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) for air quality violations at its biodiesel production facility in Isanti. After a multi-year investigation, the MPCA determined that Ever Cat Fuels operated without a required air-emissions permit and failed to meet multiple federal requirements.
MPCA staff received a report of a methanol, biodiesel, and waste vegetable oil spill at the Isanti facility. The company stated that the wastewater generated from recovering the spill was incinerated in a thermal oxidizer at the facility two days after the spill. The MPCA found that on multiple occasions, the wastes generated from spills at the facility, which would have been classified as hazardous waste, were diluted with water and incinerated.
The MPCA issued an administrative order that required Ever Cat Fuels to:
- Apply for an air emissions permit
- Conduct air modeling
- Comply with national standards regulating air pollutants and equipment performance in their facility
- Submit emission inventory reports for 2009 – 2018
- Install temperature monitoring devices and flow indicators on both thermal oxidizers
- Submit an operations and maintenance manual for all air pollution control equipment
- Apply for an air emissions permit for its pilot plant in Anoka
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.