The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has again fined Corn Plus nearly $40,000 for water-related pollution and violations of its stormwater permit.
MPCA is fining the Winnebago ethanol plant $39,450 for failing to keep stormwater runoff out of nearby lakes, streams and groundwater; allowing leaks from its cooling towers; and turning in water pollution-related paperwork late.
Since 2009, Corn Plus has received more than $1.3 million in fines from state and federal agencies.
Corn Plus has agreed to pay the latest fine and correct several related issues.
The company has already cleaned up a dumpster area where the rainwater flowed through on its way to runoff points off of the ethanol plant’s property.
“The plant has submitted a plan and documentation on storing, reporting and disposing of materials that could be industrial waste,” says the MPCA.
According to the MPCA, Corn Plus employees failed to properly take water samples and store excess stormwater to prevent pollution runoff 44 times from March 2012 through April 2016.
Mike Gustafson, environmental health and safety manager for Corn Plus, says many of the MPCA allegations are old and any potential issues have been fixed.
He says the company plans to update its permit to increase the amount of stormwater the plant can retain.