City of Emmons fined $10,570 for wastewater violations 

Published 10:31 am Tuesday, March 26, 2024

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According to a Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) enforcement investigation, the city of Emmons violated its wastewater permit in Freeborn County from April 2021 to April 2023. The investigation found the city failed to meet effluent limits 44 times and failed to provide effective treatment.

According to a press release, an MPCA staff inspection in 2023 confirmed other violations including:

  • Failure to ensure proper operation and maintenance of components of the aging Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP).
  • Inadequate treatment of discharged wastewater.

In addition to paying the $10,750 civil penalty, the city of Emmons has agreed to complete a number of corrective actions including:

  • Submitting a completed wastewater evaluation report by a professional engineer in wastewater infrastructure that includes recommendations for replacement or improvement of the existing WWTP.
  • Submitting short-, mid- and long-term action plans to be implemented to prevent permit limit violations.
  • A proposed schedule for initiation and completion of either a new WWTP or improvements to the existing plant.

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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 considers 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.