Koda Energy to pay $20,000 for air quality violations at biomass energy facility in Shakopee

Contact: Stephen Mikkelson, 218-316-3887

Koda Energy, LLC, has agreed to pay a $20,000 civil penalty to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) for a series of air-emission violations dating back to 2017, at its biomass energy generation facility in Shakopee. Koda Energy is an energy-production partnership between Rahr Malting and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community.

Violations included:

  • Total particulate matter emissions more than three times the amount allowed in its permit, at the biomass conveyance area
  • Emissions of PM10 (particles smaller than ten microns) more than three times its permitted limit at truck unloading station
  • Emissions of PM2.5 (particles smaller than 2.5 microns) more than ten times its permitted limit at truck unloading station

Breathing these particles can cause health problems as they become attached in a person’s nose, throat, and lungs, and absorbed into the bloodstream. The smaller the particles, the deeper they can travel into the lungs. PM2.5 is generally described as fine particles. By way of comparison, a human hair is about 100 microns, so roughly 40 fine particles could be placed on its width.

In addition to paying the civil penalty, the company has completed a series of corrective actions to prevent further emissions violations.

MPCA permits are designed to protect human health and the environment by limiting pollution emissions and discharges from facilities. When companies do not fully comply with permit 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 the environment, whether they were first-time or repeat violations, and how promptly the violations were reported to authorities. The agency also attempts to recover the economic benefit the company gained by failing to comply with environmental laws in a timely manner.