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EPA 2007 Minnesota enforcement benefits health and the environment

Release Date: 11/15/2007
Contact Information: William Omohundro, 312-353-8254, omohundro.william@epa.gov, Karen Thompson, 312-353-8547, thompson.karen@epa.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
No. 07- OPA224

(Chicago, Ill. - Nov. 15, 2007) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 enforcement actions in Minnesota in 2007 will reduce pollution by more than 92,000 pounds and result in regulated entities spending more than $287,000 on pollution controls to correct past environmental violations and help prevent future ones.

In the past fiscal year, EPA resolved 28 actions against regulated entities in Minnesota and assessed a total of $711,965 in civil penalties for various air, water, hazardous waste, community right-to-know and pesticide violations. As part of settlement agreements, Minnesota companies agreed to spend $188,659 on supplemental projects to benefit the environment.

"EPA regional enforcement actions in the last year will result in real health and environmental benefits," said Regional Administrator Mary A. Gade. "EPA believes in firm and fair enforcement and working with our partners at Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to ensure cleaner air, water and land for the people of Minnesota."

Among the most notable environmental actions in Minnesota were:

  • A consent decree with SJM Properties Inc. in Minneapolis for violations of the Residential Lead-based Paint Hazard Reduction Act. SJM agreed to reduce lead-based paint hazards in 34 residential rental units at a cost of about $200,000 and give $50,000 for a children's blood screening and education project in low-income and underserved communities in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area. It also paid a $5,000 fine.
  • An EPA inspection of Cortec Corp. of St. Paul revealed that the company was manufacturing two new chemicals, previously unknown in the United States, without seeking the required review and evaluation of the environmental impact of the chemicals. The company paid a $200,000 fine.

Region 5 coordinates with state environmental agencies in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin to enforce environmental laws. State agencies also have authority to pursue their own enforcement actions.

Nationwide, EPA enforcement resulted in a record $10.6 billion in pollution controls and environmental projects.

For more information about the Region's enforcement program go to http://www.epa.gov/region5/enforcement/fy07eoy.htm
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