MPCA fines incinerator for violationPope Douglas Solid Waste Management (PDSWM) – along with 63 other facilities around the state – were penalized by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA).
By: Celeste Beam, Alexandria Echo Press
Pope Douglas Solid Waste Management (PDSWM) – along with 63 other facilities around the state – were penalized by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA).
The MPCA recently concluded 64 enforcement cases totaling $710,274 in penalties during the third quarter of 2010. The cases occurred in 43 of the 87 counties in Minnesota.
PDSWM had to pay $2,250 in fines for an air quality violation.
According to Pete Olmscheid, PDSWM executive director, the violation stemmed from a stack test that occurred on February 11, 2010.
Olmscheid explained that the violation came from the test performed on the bag house fabric filter, which is a piece of equipment that filters fine dust particulates.
He said when the test was performed, a dime-sized hole was found in two out of the 400 bags that are used for filtering the fine dust particulates.
Olmscheid also explained that in January of 2010, PDSWM received new permits and that both the MPCA and PDSWM agreed to lower the levels for particulates from .080 to .020 grains per dry standard cubic foot.
When the test was performed, the results showed a level of .023 grains per dry standard cubic foot – barely above the new limit for the particulates.
The combustor was shut down when the results indicated the particulate level was over the limit and Olmscheid notified the MPCA.
Had the level not been changed, Olmscheid said the facility would have been well within the limit.
The two bags were replaced and a retest date was set for April 3. The results after the retest indicated the particulate level was at .008 grains per dry standard cubic foot.
“The problem was resolved,” said Olmscheid.
When the MPCA assigns a penalty, the dollar amount is determined using a formula that takes into account these factors:
• The risks a violation posed to public health or the environment.
• Whether the violation was an isolated incident or part of a pattern of violations.
• The damage the violation caused to natural resources.
• Whether the violation was intentional or accidental.
• How quickly a violation was reported to appropriate authorities.
• Whether a business gained an economic benefit from violations.
• How cooperative the party was in correcting the problem.