State regulators have fined American Crystal Sugar $350,000 over air pollution from its factory in East Grand Forks, Minn.

The sugar beet processing plant, one of five the cooperative operates in the Red River Valley, emitted more than double the allowed amount of particulate matter and high levels of hydrogen sulfide between 2020 and 2022, according to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

The MPCA also found air monitoring and pollution control equipment was not always on or operating effectively.

The agency said in a news release it "attempts to recover the economic benefit the company gained by failing to comply with environmental laws in a timely manner."

Minnesota is the nation's largest producer of sugar from beets, and American Crystal is one of three of the state's cooperatives that process beets into sugar and molasses.

The Polk-Norman-Mahnomen Community Health Board will receive 40% of the fine ($140,000) under a 2023 law. The case is the first to qualify for the health board funding, which is mandated for MPCA fines of $250,000 or more.