Kerry Biofunctional Ingredients facility in Rochester illegally discharges wastewater into area ponds and wetlands

Contact: Stephen Mikkelson 218-316-3887

Kerry Biofunctional Ingredients, Inc., a maker of food ingredients and flavors, violated several state environmental regulations, including illegal discharges into area wetlands and failing to obtain or renew required permits. According to a Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) enforcement investigation, Kerry Biofunctional Ingredients, Inc., committed multiple industrial wastewater violations between 2018 and 2020 at its food-grade production facility and dry goods warehouse in Rochester.

The company is implementing several corrective actions and paid a $28,170 civil penalty to the MPCA.

MPCA inspections confirmed that the company:

  • Failed to properly describe and take samples of industrial byproduct as part of its land application process
  • Allowed two unauthorized industrial wastewater discharges to area wetlands
  • Failed to properly monitor its stormwater and to obtain a stormwater permit for its warehouse
  • Didn’t meet deadlines for reapplying for other required permits

In addition to paying the civil penalty, the company must:

  • Put industrial byproduct land application on hold, and develop a new sampling analysis and field calibration plan before resuming.
  • Implement an adequate plan to prevent future unauthorized wastewater discharges.
  • Explain how the facility will ensure benchmark monitoring is completed on a regular basis.
  • Apply for stormwater permit coverage where it is lacking, and explain how it will ensure permits are reapplied for on time.

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.