MPCA completes 48 enforcement cases in the second quarter of 2017

Published 9:57 pm Thursday, July 27, 2017

In its ongoing efforts to promote environmental compliance, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency concluded 48 enforcement cases in 33 counties throughout Minnesota during the second quarter of 2017, according to a press release.  Penalties from all 48 cases totaled just over $450,000.

Environmental enforcement investigations often take several months, and in highly complex cases more than a year. Although, in rare instances, they can involve courts, they are most often negotiated settlements where the goal is compliance with environmental rules. Fines issued are targeted to match the environmental harm, economic advantage gained or environmental corrective actions.

In addition to these 48 recently-completed cases, the MPCA also has 41 ongoing enforcement investigations, 17 of which were opened as new cases during the second quarter of 2017.  Not all investigations lead to fines or other official action.

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Imposing monetary penalties is only part of the MPCA’s enforcement process.  Agency staff continue to provide assistance, support, and information on the steps and tools necessary to achieve compliance for any company, individual, or local government that requests it.

The following is a brief summary of cases completed during the second quarter of 2017 in or near the Tribune’s coverage area:

Big Gain Inc., Mankato, for air quality violations, $8,153

Seneca Foods Corporation, Rochester, for wastewater violations, $7,650

Agra Resources LLC (POET Biorefining), Albert Lea, for air quality violations, $3,600

Rochester Top Soil, Inc., Rochester, for stormwater violations, $1,330

Bullets and Broadheads LLC, Rochester, for stormwater violations, $970

Reliable Contractors Inc., Rochester, for stormwater violations, $970

A complete summary of environmental enforcement actions and news releases is posted on the MPCA’s news media center web page.  For questions on specific enforcement cases, contact Stephen Mikkelson, information officer, at 218-316-3887 or toll free at 800-657-3864.

The mission of the MPCA is to protect and improve the environment and enhance human health.