Firms fined for pollution violations

By John Weiss

Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN

Two manufacturing firms in the region were fined $31,000 in the last quarter of 2008 because of violations of state air-quality rules.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency fined Tuohy Furniture of Chatfield $21,000 and Foldcraft Co. of Kenyon $10,000.

In addition, it levied three other fines totaling $10,550: Eagle Transport of Rochester, $4,450 for air-quality and solid-waste violations; Hammell Equipment of Chatfield, $3,850 for solid-waste violations; and Zumbrota Golf Course Properties and Schumacher Excavating Inc. of Zumbrota, $2,250 for stormwater violations.


In all, the MPCA reported 50 enforcement actions throughout Minnesota in the fourth quarter of 2008 with a total of $303,372 in penalties. For the year, there were 176 cases and $1,643,866 in penalties.

According to the MPCA, Tuohy installed and operated two paint booths and woodworking equipment without first obtaining amendments to its air-emissions permit. In addition, the MPCA says the company had "provided misleading information" and "had not acted in good faith in its dealings with the agency."

Foldcraft’s violations were mostly for not keeping the required records to show it took corrective action on panel filters to control particulate emissions, said Brent Rohne, a pollution control specialist.

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