Gerdau Ameristeel Inc. cited for multiple environmental violations

Contact: Risikat Adesaogun, 651-757-2356

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has cited Gerdau Ameristeel, a Florida corporation that operates a steel mill recycling plant in St. Paul, for violations of several environmental regulations. Violations included failing to obtain proper permits for operating the company’s two cooling water ponds, failing to implement best management practices for stormwater control measures, failing to document regular inspections and preventive maintenance, failing a performance test, and improperly storing hazardous waste. The company has made corrections and agreed to pay a $110,000 civil penalty.

Several of the company’s corrections include applying for correct permit coverage, updating operation and maintenance plans, properly labeling hazardous waste containers, and implementing improved recordkeeping practices.

The improper management of hazardous waste and water and air quality violations potentially increased the risk of harmful contaminants being released into the air, land or water, posing a threat to human health and the environment.

The agreement, known as a Stipulation Agreement, is one of the tools the MPCA uses to achieve compliance with environmental laws. When calculating penalties, the agency 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 a comprehensive list of enforcement actions by the MPCA, visit the agency's Quarterly enforcement summary webpage.