Ethanol plant penalized for environmental violations

A company that runs an ethanol plant west of the Twin Cities must pay a $425,000 civil penalty for environmental violations, including exceeding its wastewater discharge limits.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency said Thursday that Bushmills Ethanol Inc. will pay the penalty for violations that occurred at the company's facility in Atwater, about 80 miles west of Minneapolis.

Besides going over wastewater discharge limits, the MPCA said the facility produced more ethanol than allowed under its permit, and failed to inspect and maintain production and pollution-control equipment. The violations occurred from 2006 through this year.

MPCA officials said overproduction and failure to maintain equipment meant the facility could have emitted more air pollutants than allowed under its permit.

Bushmills has agreed to correct the violations and create plans for complying with the ethanol plant's permit limits, according to an MPCA news release.

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