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Company fined for pollution violations

PERHAM, Minn. -- A metal coating company will pay a $60,000 fine and make improvements to its Perham facility after a Minnesota Pollution Control Agency investigation of air quality and hazardous waste violations.

An inspection at Industrial Finishing Services found emissions of volatile organic compounds that exceeded the facility’s permit thresholds, a news release from the MPCA said.

The company needed a piece of equipment called a thermal oxidizer to control hazardous air pollutants associated with coatings the company uses. Because emission levels were increasing, the company should have applied for a different category of permit in 2009 but did not do so until 2014, the release states. The violations were discovered during the application process for the new permit.

The MPCA also discovered the company had begun construction on an expansion before receiving a required MPCA permit, and found other issues with contingency planning, training, use of a non-licensed site for hazardous waste disposal, and pollution risks.

The company has agreed to changes that will bring the facility into compliance with air pollution and hazardous waste regulations and pay a $60,000 civil penalty.