Taracon Precast LLC in rural Clay County pays $18,435 penalty for sediment runoff; lack of required permits, stormwater controls

Contact: Dan Olson, 218-846-8108

Taracon Precast LLC, a business associated with Spring Prairie Hutterite Brethren, Inc. near Hawley (Clay County), has paid an $18,435 civil penalty to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA). The fine was incurred for failure to obtain state permits required for the construction and operation of a precast concrete business at the location, a lack of stormwater controls, and excessive amounts of sediment leaving the site.

The MPCA cited the business after inspections this summer found it did not have an industrial wastewater permit for its precast concrete operations. It also did not obtain a construction stormwater permit or take required precautions to prevent stormwater pollution when creating more than 20 acres of impervious surface for parking areas and product storage.

Investigation of a written complaint received this summer found the business also allowed excessive amounts of sediment from the product storage/parking areas to enter a nearby ditch. The operation is located in the Buffalo River Watershed District, which has streams that are impaired for sediment and turbidity.

In addition to the civil penalty, Taracon Precast LLC has completed several corrective actions, including applying for required permits, submitting a stormwater pollution prevention plan, and designing a permanent stormwater treatment system for the site.

When calculating penalties, the MPCA considers 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.