Koda Energy pays $13,600 for air quality violations at Shakopee biomass energy facility

Contact: Stephen Mikkelson, 218-232-4767

Koda Energy LLC has paid a $13,600 civil penalty to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) for a series of air-emission violations 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 failing to conduct required visible emissions checks of vent filters during daylight hours, submitting test frequency plans late to the MPCA, operating a truck unloading station with doors open, and installing a dry sorbent injection system four months after a required installation deadline. Dry sorbent injection is a filtering technology for boilers that reduce acid gases.

In addition to paying the civil penalty, the company has completed a series of corrective actions, including submitting test frequency plans on time, repairing the doors to the truck unloading station so they can be closed, conducing visible emissions checks, and committing to meet all future permit deadlines.

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 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.