Lakeside Foods in Owatonna pays $11,225 penalty for environmental violations

Media contact: Cathy Malakowsky, 507-383-5949

Lakeside Foods, a producer of frozen and canned food products, has paid a civil penalty of $11,225 to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) for environmental violations at its Owatonna facility. The facility has also taken corrective actions to prevent future violations.

A state inspection and file review found that Lakeside Foods violated the pollutant limits in its wastewater discharge permit 16 times during 2018 and 2019. The facility also allowed treated wastewater to drain off its property, into a ditch and onto an adjacent property. Lakeside Foods failed to report the spill to the State Duty Officer, as required by its permit.

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.