POET Biorefining LLC, exceeds stormwater discharge limits, fails sampling requirements over three-year period at Glenville ethanol facility

Stephen Mikkelson, 218-316-3887

According to a Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) enforcement investigation, POET Biorefining LLC, in Glenville, Minnesota, exceeded its permitted stormwater discharge limits, including total suspended solids and carbonaceous biochemical oxygen demand (CBOD), the measurement of dissolved oxygen depletion in wastewater released into a body of water. 

Other violations included missing 10 percent of required sampling collection and reporting between March 2019 and March 2022, submitting monthly and annual reports late, missing flow meter calibrations, and missing stormwater inspections.

In addition to paying a $12,029 civil penalty to the MPCA, POET Biorefining developed and implemented revised operating plans to ensure similar violations would not occur in the future.

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 or could have affected the environment, and whether they were first-time or repeat violations. The agency also attempts to recover the economic benefit the company gained by failing to comply with environmental laws in a timely manner.