MPCA reaches settlement with Hibbing aircraft refinisher on air-quality violations

Contact: Ralph Pribble, 651-757-2657

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has signed an agreement with Midwest Aircraft Refinishing of Hibbing, Minn. resolving air-quality violations.  The company agreed to correct the violations and will pay a $25,000 civil penalty.

The violations stem from the company’s failure to get a required air quality permit from the MPCA before starting up a paint line for aircraft and aircraft parts in 2010.  It did not apply for the proper permit until August, 2016; the MPCA is now processing that application. 

MPCA permits are designed to protect human health and the environment by limiting pollution emissions and discharges from facilities.  When companies operate without the required permits, the resulting pollution can be harmful to people and the environment.

In addition to applying for the permit, the company also agreed to submit all required notifications and compliance reports within 90 days of the agreement’s signing (Jan. 9, 2017), and to operate under the pollution-control requirements of its permit. 

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 calculated economic benefit gained by failure to comply with environmental laws in a timely manner. For a comprehensive list of enforcement actions, see the MPCA’s Quarterly Summary of Enforcement Actions webpage.