MN Co. to Pay $278K for Hazardous Waste Violations

St. Paul-based plastics manufacturer Interplastic Corporation has agreed to pay a $15,000 civil penalty and spend $263,800 on environmental projects and upgrades for alleged environmental violations at its Minneapolis and Vadnais Heights plants.

Interplastic Corporation has been fined $15,000 by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) for allegedly improperly transferring, shipping, and treating hazardous waste at two of its Twin Cities locations. The St. Paul-based company manufactures unsaturated polyester resins at its Minneapolis plant and gel coats and colorants at its Vadnais Heights plant.

The MPCA enforced penalties after hazardous waste compliance inspections by Hennepin County staff at the Minneapolis plant in September 2008 and March 2009, and by MPCA staff at the Vadnais Heights plant in March 2009.

According to the MPCA, Interplastic Corporation transferred at least 759 55-gallon drums and 33 pails of ignitable hazardous waste resin from its Vadnais Heights site to its Minneapolis site, where it was allegedly stored and treated without an MPCA hazardous waste facility permit.

The MPCA also claims Interplastic Corporation shipped ignitable hazardous waste resin from its Minneapolis plant to a third party through a carrier not licensed or permitted by the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

In addition, the plastic manufacturer allegedly stored the ignitable hazardous waste resin and glycol improperly at the Minneapolis plant, and failed to evaluate wastes within 60 days of their generation to diagnose if they were hazardous.

Under the terms of the MPCA's stipulation agreement with Interplastic Corporation, the company has stopped shipping ignitable hazardous waste gel coat and resin from its Vadnais Heights site to its Minneapolis site, and the waste is no longer being treated at the Minneapolis site.

In addition to the $15,000 fine, Interplastic Corporation agreed to perform two environmental projects, one at each site, with a combined cost of $263,800.

The first project is the installation of a dust-collection system at the Vadnais Heights site. The project, at a cost of $110,200, will decrease the amount of dust the company disposes of as solid waste and reduce the amount of raw material used in the production process. In addition, employees will decrease their exposure to airborne dust.

The second project, at a cost of $153,600, will improve the branch vent line to the thermal oxidizer at the Minneapolis plant. The upgrades will decrease the amount of hazardous waste, solid waste, and fume emissions to the air.

The MPCA calculates penalties by taking into account a number of factors, including the following: how serious the violation affects the environment, whether it is a first-time or repeat violation, and how promptly the violation was reported to the appropriate authorities.