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Fibrominn fined for air quality violations the past two years

WILLMAR -- Fibrominn LLC of Benson will pay a $65,000 fine and install a sulfur dioxide monitor at a minimum cost of $80,000 as part of an agreement it reached with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

The penalty and agreement is to resolve the company's past failure to comply with state air-quality rules and permit conditions, according to the MPCA. The penalty and corrective action are for air emissions violations for the past two years.

Fibrominn began operations in May 2007 burning primarily turkey litter to generate electricity. Since the start of operations, the facility has experienced numerous violations of its permit. The settlement addresses violations of late report submittals, failed performance test, and excess nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide and carbon monoxide emissions. The company also failed to self-report deviations that occurred during operation of the facility's poultry litter-fired boiler.

Fibrominn has since conducted the performance test and submitted a testing frequency plan; a continuous opacity monitor/continuous emissions monitor downtime elimination report, a pressure drop limit, a relative accuracy test audit test plan, a hydrochloric acid correlation curve and a permit compliance checklist.

Minnesota law requires owners and operators of facilities with the potential to release air pollutants to have MPCA permits. Facilities must also carefully monitor and maintain equipment because emissions exceeding state standards can degrade air quality.

The MPCA offers outreach and training to help facilities meet their permit requirements. For more information on air quality permits and emission standards, call Jennifer Lovett, MPCA air quality inspector, at 651-757-2538 or 1-800-657-3864.

For a comprehensive list of enforcement actions by the MPCA, go to the agency's Web site at center/enforcement.html.