Crystal Sugar fined $25,000 for East Grand Forks pollution

  • Updated: January 25, 2013 - 7:55 PM

State pollution regulators said Friday they've fined American Crystal Sugar Co. nearly $25,000 in connection with excess emissions from the company's East Grand Forks mill.

The Moorhead-based farmers cooperative, the nation's largest beet sugar producer, has taken "corrective actions" to reduce emissions in East Grand Forks, according to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

The MPCA reviewed Crystal Sugar reports from 2009 through 2011 and found that "fine particle emissions" from drying kilns had exceeded permitted limits, and equipment used to monitor emissions was out of service for extended periods.

Also, the East Grand Forks plant failed to record a number of daily inspections required for air pressure monitoring equipment. The mill is one of five that Crystal Sugar operates in the Red River Valley; three are in Minnesota, two in North Dakota.

The $24,943 penalty follows a $50,000 penalty paid by Crystal Sugar in 2010. The MPCA found that runoff from the East Grand Forks mill had made its way into a nearby creek, leading to complaints about odors and water discoloration.

MIKE HUGHLETT

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