Duluth, MN

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency: Lakehead Trucking improperly discharge at Duluth facility

Paula Carlsen

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MINNEAPOLIS-ST.PAUL, MN — The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency or MPCA had investigated the Lakehead Trucking, Inc. and found that they had been discharging waste from a network of floor drains directly to the ground in its main facility in Duluth.

The company will have to pay a $23,000 civil penalty to the MPCA and implement corrective actions.

The investigation found that the company was "daylighting" floor-drain waste that allows waste such as used oil and other automotive fluids from vehicle washing and maintenance flow into the soil and contaminated the soil around the building.

Other than that, the company failed to stop the discharge and clean up the contamination. In addition, the company had improperly stored used oil and oil filters.

They also started sand and gravel mining without having the industrial and construction stormwater permits.

Lakehead Trucking must now connect all floor drains to a certified holding tank and oil-water separator, provide documentation that all contaminated soils were properly excavated and disposed of, obtain all required permits related to its sand and gravel mining sites, and document that certified used oil and oil filter storage equipment is installed.

The MPCA rules and regulations are created to protect human health and the environment by limiting pollution emissions and discharges from facilities.

The MPCA penalties are carefully calculated and take into account how serious the violations could affect the environment and whether they were first-time or repeat offenses.

The agency attempts to recover the economic benefit the company gained by failing to follow the environmental laws in a timely manner.

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