Violations lead to better safety, accountability for St. Cloud plastic manufacturer

Contact: Steve Mikkelson, 218-316-3887

Brainerd, Minn. — Carlson Engineered Composites USA Inc., has paid a fine and taken corrective actions as a result of hazardous waste, air quality and industrial stormwater violations at its plastic composite manufacturing and surface coating facility in St. Cloud, Minn.

According to Minnesota Pollution Control Agency staff inspection reports from January 2015, the company had a number of violations, some dating back to 2008 when the facility was opened. 

Hazardous waste violations found at the facility include:

  • Operating without a required hazardous waste generator identification number.
  • Intentionally disposing of waste acetone through evaporation.
  • Disposing of waste rags, gloves, sorbent pads and paint booth filters into the garbage.
  • Failing to evaluate, label, and properly store hazardous wastes at the facility.
  • Failing to coordinate with local police, fire department, and hospital to identify hazards associated with the facility.
  • Failing to assign an emergency coordinator, and train staff in hazardous waste safety procedures.

If a facility’s potential air emissions exceed certain thresholds, it must apply for and receive MPCA air quality permits before construction and operation. Since the company constructed and operated without air permits since 2008, required annual emissions inventories and other associated reports were not submitted to the MPCA.

The stormwater-related violations include operating without a required industrial stormwater permit.

Carlson Engineered Composites has paid a $135,000 civil penalty and completed a series of corrective actions to help ensure accountability and safety for the surrounding community in the future.

The MPCA’s environmental regulations are designed to help protect air, water, land, and human health. When calculating penalties, the MPCA takes into account how seriously the violation affected the environment, whether it is a first time or repeat violation, and how promptly the violation was reported to appropriate authorities.  It also attempts to recover the calculated economic benefit gained by failure to comply with environmental laws in a timely manner.