Central Specialties fined over air emission limits at its Alexandria asphalt facility

Company says $22,750 fine was primarily related to administrative paperwork.

Jackie Peters
Jackie Peters
licia marie/licia marie

ALEXANDRIA — The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency fined Central Specialties, Inc. of Alexandria $22,750 after an enforcement investigation.

In a news release issued Thursday, June 23, the MPCA said the company failed to properly calculate air pollutants, exceeded air pollutant emissions, submitted late semiannual and annual reports, and failed to keep various required records.

The violations are associated with the company’s three portable hot mix asphalt plants and nonmetallic mineral processing equipment, according to the MPCA.

The MPCA said that among the pollutants the company improperly calculated for monthly and annual emissions, dating back to 2012, are carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e); carbon monoxide (CO); nitrogen oxide (NOx); total, small and very small particulate matter; sulfur dioxide (SO2) and volatile organic compounds (VOC).

Central Specialties is a third-generation, family owned general road contracting company that provides asphalt paving, aggregate production, site work, excavation and grading.


When contacted by the newspaper for a response, Ross Larson, CFO of Central Specialties, provided the following statement:

“Central Specialties was fined $22,750 by the MPCA and we have subsequently paid the fine in full. These fines are not related to excess pollution in our community. They were primarily related to administrative paperwork around the emissions of our asphalt plants.

“During the time frame associated with this fine, our company’s environmental positions had some turnover, and we were late in submitting the required paperwork,” the statement continued. “As soon as the environmental position was filled, we worked diligently to get back into compliance. The majority of the compliance issues were corrected within 75 days of the original due date. We are frustrated that the MPCA would fine our company for administrative violations dating back to as far as 10 years ago. At Central Specialties, we work with all regulators, including the MPCA, to comply with all laws and regulations.”

In addition to paying the fine, Central Specialties must develop and submit plans to the MPCA to properly:

Calculate monthly and annual pollutant emissions.

Submit required semiannual and annual reports on time.

Perform regular emission stack tests.

Record daily fuel usage.


Notify the MPCA when changing location of portable equipment.

When calculating penalties, the MPCA said it takes into account how seriously the violations affected or could have affected the environment, and whether they were first-time or repeat violations. The agency said it also attempts to recover the economic benefit the company gained by failing to comply with environmental laws in a timely manner.

Al Edenloff is the editor of the twice-weekly Echo Press. He started his journalism career when he was in 10th grade, writing football and basketball stories for the Parkers Prairie Independent.
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