Wind Rotor Co. Suzlon Fined $490K for Polluting

Suzlon Rotor Corporation reportedly reached a consent agreement with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency under which it will correct various manufacturing problems; the agreement detailed air quality, hazardous waste, solid waste, and storm-water runoff handling violations.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has fined Suzlon Rotor Corporation $490,000 for various pollution-related violations, the Star Tribune reported Friday.

The Pipestone-based maker of wind-power electricity generation equipment reportedly reached a consent agreement with the MPCA under which it will correct its manufacturing problems.

The agreement detailed air quality, hazardous waste, solid waste, and storm-water runoff handling violations, according to the Star Tribune.

The MPCA indicated that sandblasting operations at the plant “far exceeded emissions standards for airborne particles” in 2009, according to the Minneapolis newspaper. Suzlon sandblasted without a permit and without using air-emission control equipment-and the company allegedly stored sandblasting waste materials outdoors in uncovered piles, where it was exposed to storm water runoff, without having the proper permit.

The MPCA also identified hazardous waste violations. The agency reportedly claimed that Suzlon sent damaged turbine blades containing lead to a landfill. The lead was later removed.

The fine comes at a time when Suzlon's India-based parent company has been laying off workers in Pipestone, according to the Star Tribune. While Suzlon employed almost 500 workers at its peak, employment has dropped to about 30 people. The company reportedly laid off 110 workers late last year.

In 2008, Suzlon paid a $19,000 fine for violating air quality rules. It reportedly failed to obtain an air quality permit before the Pipestone facility was built.

To read more about Suzlon's fine in the Star Tribune, click here.