The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has wrapped up 118 enforcement cases in the first half of 2020.

Environmental enforcement investigations often take several months, in some cases more than a year, to complete the investigation and issue final enforcement documents to regulated parties.

Here is a list of some of those cases:

Enforcement cases with net penalties of $5,000 or more

  • Spring Prairie Hutterite Colony, Hawley, $10,500 fine for burning garbage without a permit, including prohibited materials such as insulation, sheet rock, plastics, demolition debris, and trash. Failed to satisfactorily collect and transport its solid waste to an authorized facility.
  • Lai Pham of Wadena was fined $9,437 for allowing raw sewage to discharge beneath two mobile homes at a mobile home park. Pham didn’t try to clean up the discharges or notify the state duty officer or MPCA.
  • Pope-Douglas Solid Waste Management, Alexandria, was fined $6,435 for emitting pollutants at a 66% higher rate than its permit allows from its solid waste incinerator during a two-month stretch in 2019.

Enforcement cases with net penalty amounts of less than $5,000

  • Park Rapids Aviation Paint Facility, for air quality violations in Park Rapids.
  • Strata Corp., for solid waste violations in Dilworth.
  • Aggregate Industries, for industrial wastewater violations in Glyndon.
  • Mark Lee Excavating, for construction stormwater violations in Alexandria.
  • Eastside Storage - Alexandria LLC, for construction stormwater violations in Alexandria.
  • Minn-Dak Asphalt, Inc., for industrial wastewater violations in Thief River Falls.
  • Maschler Septic Consultants, for subsurface sewage treatment system violations in Brainerd.

The MPCA says penalties are calculated using several factors, including harm done to the environment, the economic benefit the company gained by failing to comply with environmental laws, or how responsive and cooperative a regulated party was in correcting problems.

Imposing fines 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 bring any company, individual, or local government back into compliance.