MPCA closes 109 enforcement cases in second half of 2019

Contact: Stephen Mikkelson, 218-316-3887

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) today announced it has concluded 109 enforcement cases in the second half of 2019. Environmental enforcement investigations often take several months, in some cases more than a year, to complete the investigation and issue final enforcement documents to regulated parties. Penalties are calculated using several factors, including harm done to the environment, the economic benefit the company gained by failing to comply with environmental rules and laws, or how responsive and cooperative a regulated party was in correcting problems.

Imposing monetary penalties is only part of the MPCA’s enforcement process. Agency staff continue to provide assistance, support, and information on the steps and tools necessary to bring any company, individual, or local government back into compliance. 

Enforcement cases with net penalty amounts of $5,000 or more
July - December 2019

Public date

Company or individual(s)

Violation location

Violation(s) summary

Net Penalty

8/29/2019

Lubrication Technologies Inc.

Roseville

Aboveground tanks: Failed to document proper inspection and/or closure of underground piping and storage tanks. Failed to fix or replace broken hoses, which allowed oil to spill on the ground, and used improper leak testing methods.

$61,680

8/7/2019

Heartland Corn Products

Winthrop

Air quality: Improper operation and maintenance of pollution control equipment, record keeping, performance testing, and report submissions to the MPCA. Failed to properly manage stormwater, truck traffic dust, and hazardous wastes.

$53,044

10/8/2019

Como Lube & Supplies Inc.

Duluth

Aboveground tanks: Failed to address excessive corrosion on storage tanks and piping, to properly install overfill prevention and cathodic protection on several storage tanks, and to test for soil contamination under several removed tanks.

$50,000

8/16/2019

Nationwide DI Water Solutions LLC

Elgin

Industrial wastewater: Failed to properly monitor some wastewater discharges, periodically exceeded discharge limits for copper and zinc, and failed to collect and submit samples from designated monitoring locations.

$18,704

8/15/2019

Mike Thomas

Two Harbors

Construction stormwater: Began a construction project without obtaining required stormwater permits, sediment controls were not installed at the project site, exposed soils were not stabilized as required, and project personnel were not properly trained to inspect and implement stormwater pollution prevention practices.

$14,660

7/25/2019

Pike Hills Dairy LLC

Little Falls

Feedlots: Liquid manure and manure-contaminated runoff flowed from the property to the Mississippi River. The owner did not properly report or attempt to clean up the discharge.

$14,520

11/26/2019

O'Day Equipment LLC

Multiple locations in NE Minnesota

Underground tanks: Failed to complete required notification forms for underground storage tank work at several gas stations in northeastern Minnesota. Failed to perform a tank-system upgrade project at the College of St. Scholastica.

$14,000

8/9/2019

S.J. Louis Construction Inc.

Nobles County

Construction stormwater: Failed to provide required stabilization of exposed soils, install erosion controls, or conduct inspections on water-pipeline construction site, which created a pollution threat to nearby impaired waters, including Okabena Lake, Little Rock Creek, and the Little Rock River.

$12,440

8/9/2019

Lewis & Clark Regional Water Systems

Nobles County

Construction stormwater: Failed to provide required stabilization of exposed soils, install erosion controls, or conduct inspections on water-pipeline construction site, which created a pollution threat to nearby impaired waters, including Okabena Lake, Little Rock Creek, and the Little Rock River.

$12,420

10/21/2019

Meeker County

Watkins

Construction stormwater: Failed to install required erosion and sediment controls on the site of a highway construction project. The project design did not include proper post-construction stormwater management features.

$10,925

12/4/2019

Rawlings Sporting Goods Inc.

Caledonia

Air quality: Exceeded limit for organic hazardous air pollutant (12-month rolling average) for spray booths at its coating facility.

$10,327

11/4/2019

Kost Materials

Audubon

Wastewater: Failed to apply for required stormwater permit coverage, caused nuisance conditions to wetlands and Audubon Waterfowl Production Areas, and failed to notify the agency of the nuisance conditions.

$10,240

8/9/2019

Kingswood Properties LLC

Mankato

Construction stormwater: Failed to apply for required stormwater permit coverage before beginning construction activity. Adversely affected 1.27 acres of wetland with sediment runoff. Failed to develop the required stormwater pollution prevention plan. Failed to install proper stormwater controls.

$10,115

8/6/2019

Angel L Hedlund, Shawn A Hedlund, Hedlund Backhoe Service

McIntosh

Subsurface sewage treatment systems: Completed 10 SSTS designs, eight installations, and 36 inspections in the state without a license. Identified non-compliant septic systems as compliant. Identified two non-compliant systems as compliant in two point-of-sale inspections.

$10,000

8/29/2019

Reconserve of Minnesota Inc.

Rosemount

Air quality: Failed to conduct monthly sawdust analysis for five months in 2017, exceeded limits for refuse-derived and mixed municipal solid waste fuel. Failed to submit semiannual reports on time. Failed to complete performance testing on time and failed to maintain documentation of the corrective actions taken.

$9,380

8/29/2019

National Vision Inc.

St. Cloud

Hazardous waste: Failed fully train employees on proper waste handling and emergency procedures. Failed to properly manage, label and store its hazardous waste. Failed to evaluate waste a hazardous substance. Failed to appoint a hazardous waste emergency coordinator.

$9,375

8/9/2019

Wendell Lorentz & Sons Construction

Mankato

Construction stormwater: Failed to apply for required stormwater permit coverage before beginning construction activity. Adversely affected 1.27 acres of wetland with sediment runoff. Failed to develop the required stormwater pollution prevention plan. Failed to install proper stormwater controls.

$8,585

12/10/2019

Beemer Well Drilling Inc.

Fairmont

Subsurface sewage treatment systems: Failed to keep proper records relating to residential septic-system maintenance. Land-applied septage excessively, which potentially put groundwater at risk. Failed to properly train employees.

$8,240

7/23/2019

Anderson Coatings

Waltham

Hazardous waste and solid waste: Operated a Class IV waste combustor and burned approximately 30 gallons of solid waste per month from 1995 to 2013 without the required permits. Produced waste sandblast and paint-related hazardous materials, but failed to obtain a hazardous waste generator license. Failed to evaluate wastes and handle them as hazardous waste. Failed to properly collect, store and transport solid waste accumulated at the facility.

$8,029

10/22/2019

Fiber Commercial Technologies LLC

Mankato

Air quality: Failed to conduct or document required inspections for baghouses, HEPA filters, and cyclones. Failed to record staff training on control equipment. Failed to record pressure drop or visible emissions for low temperature fabric filters, pressure drops for cyclones, and the condition of filters. Failed to install a pressure drop gauge to conduct required daily pressure drop checks.

$7,600

12/5/2019

Anthony Kangas, Kangas Enterprise Inc.

McGregor

Subsurface sewage treatment systems: Improper handling and land application of septage, improper record keeping, and inadequate staff training and supervision.

$5,860

10/2/2019

Somme LLC, Verdun LLC

Lakeville

Air quality: Failed to calculate VOC emissions and track particulate matter emissions. Failed to develop a required operation and maintenance plan. Failed to conduct daily visual inspections of the panel filters. Failed to record visual inspections and when panel filters were changed. Failed to submit the initial hood evaluation.

$5,310

8/1/2019

PFS MHC LLC 

Blaine

Municipal wastewater: Discharged approximately 3,600 gallons of untreated sewage to waters in the Coon Creek Watershed. Failed to notify the Minnesota Duty Officer of discharge. Didn’t attempt to recover, stop, or minimize the discharge of untreated sewage.

$5,000

 

Enforcement cases with net penalty amounts of less than $5,000
July - December 2019

  • Minnerath Construction Inc., for construction stormwater violations in Watkins
  • Voigts Dirt Service LLC, for wastewater violations in Solway
  • Floe Craft LLC, for hazardous waste violations in McGregor
  • Waterous Company, for air quality violations in South St. Paul
  • Gerdau Ameristeel US Inc., for air quality violations in South St. Paul
  • Wheaton-Dumont Co-op Elevator, for solid waste violations in Tenney
  • Associated Milk Producers Inc., for industrial wastewater violations in Paynesville
  • Al-Corn Clean Fuel, for wastewater violations in Claremont
  • CWMF Corp., for hazardous waste violations in Waite Park
  • Olmsted County, for air quality violations in Rochester
  • City of Thief River Falls, for wastewater violations in Thief River Falls
  • Mann Lake LTD, for hazardous waste violations in Hackensack
  • Alex Adams and Danielle Adams, for solid waste violations in Frazee
  • Ronald Wacker, for solid waste violations in New York Mills
  • The Sierra Company LLC, for air quality violations in Minnetonka
  • Assured Septics LLC, for subsurface sewage treatment system violations in Milaca
  • RR Donnelley, for air quality violations in Chanhassen
  • Northern States Power, dba Xcel Energy, for air quality violations in Bayport
  • Retailer Services Corporation, for air quality violations in Anoka
  • Arctic Cat Inc., for air quality violations in Thief River Falls
  • Bruce Levan and Jane Levan, for solid waste violations in Elgin
  • Waste Management of MN Inc., for solid waste violations in Bemidji
  • Corn Plus, for air quality violations in Winnebago
  • Henninger Construction LLC, for construction stormwater violations in Elysian
  • JoAnn Gilbertson, for construction stormwater and solid waste violations in Pelican Rapids
  • Veit & Company Inc., for construction stormwater violations in Eden Prairie
  • Levi Miller and Susan Miller, for subsurface sewage treatment system violations in Canton
  • David Frandle, for subsurface sewage treatment system violations in Blue Earth
  • Dan Swartzentruber and Sarah Swartzentruber, for subsurface sewage treatment system violations in Canton
  • Brett Wirth and Lisa Wirth, for subsurface sewage treatment system violations in Blue Earth
  • Ammon Troyer and Anna Troyer, for subsurface sewage treatment system violations in Mabel
  • City of Eden Prairie, for construction stormwater violations in Eden Prairie

More details on all 109 cases completed during the second half of 2019 can be found on the MPCA’s Compliance and Enforcement web page.