Washington County and Arnt Construction pay $12,000 for construction stormwater violations in Willernie

Contact: Stephen Mikkelson, (218) 316-3887

Washington County and Hugo-based Arnt Construction Company, Inc., have paid a $12,000 civil penalty to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) for construction stormwater violations in Willernie related to construction on Stillwater Road/County Road 12.

The MPCA, partnering with Rice Creek Watershed District, determined that a vacuum truck had malfunctioned and discharged sediment and sediment-laden water into an adjacent wetland that feeds into Lost Lake. This incident was not reported to the State Duty Officer and MPCA as required, nor was it recovered and cleaned up within an acceptable timeframe. In addition, 21 storm drains at the site lacked the required protections to prevent sediment from washing into them.

Washington County and the company were also required to install storm drain inlet protections at all 21 drains, recover the sediment from the wetland, and submit a plan to address recovery and reporting of subsequent discharges.

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.