MPCA fines Buffalo Lake ethanol plant $10,000

ST. PAUL – The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) ordered a Buffalo Lake ethanol plant owned by Buffalo Lake Advanced Biofuels, LLC, to pay a $10,000 civil penalty, according to an agreement with the MPCA.

The ethanol plant formerly owned by Minnesota Energy is in the process of correcting water and air quality permit violations, according to the MPCA.

In October 2012, Renville County officials reported a “white discoloration” in a section of Judicial Ditch (JD) 15, downstream from the plant. An MPCA inspection revealed contaminated storm water and cooling tower waste water was discharged from the ground, causing a storm pond to overflow into the ditch.

The inspection noted the plant failed to meet permit requirements for observing discharge limits, monitoring and reporting. The penalty and cleanup are part of a stipulation agreement between Minnesota Energy and the MPCA that attempts to recover the calculated economic benefit gained by failure to comply with environmental laws in a timely manner.

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