Contact: Risikat Adesaogun, 651-757-2056
St. Paul, Minn. — The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has cited Pioneer Metal Finishing LLC, in Minneapolis, for several violations of hazardous waste rules. The company has made corrections and agreed to pay a $45,000 civil penalty.
Violations included improper hazardous waste storage, evaporation of hazardous waste prior to disposal, failure to provide employees with required annual training and failure to maintain and operate the facility to minimize the possibility of a release. The company also failed to ensure hazardous waste areas were regularly inspected. The company had previous enforcement history with Hennepin County Environmental Services in 2005 and 2009 regarding hazardous waste management.
The improper management of hazardous waste potentially increases the risk of harmful contaminants being released into the air, land or water, posing a threat to human health and the environment.
To resolve the violations, the company has hired an environmental consultant to assess the condition of the facility’s structure and systems, updated standard operating procedures and provided required annual training to employees.
The agreement, known as a Stipulation Agreement, is one of the tools the MPCA uses to achieve compliance with environmental laws. When calculating penalties, the agency takes into account how seriously the violation affected the environment, whether it was a first-time or repeat violation, and how promptly the violation was reported to appropriate 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 by the MPCA, visit the agency's quarterly summary of enforcement actions webpage.