Wm Scepaniak, Inc., pays $11,030 for industrial wastewater violations

Contact: Stephen Mikkelson, 218-316-3887

Wm Scepaniak, Inc., an aggregate mining company based in Holdingford, Minn., has paid an $11,030 civil penalty to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) for industrial wastewater violations at a nonmetallic aggregate mining facility near Mentor.

An MPCA staff inspection at the facility confirmed that untreated, sediment-laden mine pit water had discharged into Judicial Ditch 64, and then into nearby Lower Badger Creek. The company did not report the discharge to the Minnesota State Duty Officer or the MPCA as required, failed to recover the sediment that had left the site, and had been operating without a required permit.

In addition to paying the civil penalty, Wm Scepaniak, Inc., was required to cease operations until it obtained a permit, and submitted and implemented a best management practices plan to prevent future 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, 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.