A longtime St. Paul company that has worked on some of the Twin Cities’ most significant construction and excavation projects was fined nearly $30,000 for letting polluted sediment run off into the Mississippi River following work at a gun club in South St. Paul.
Carl Bolander and Sons Construction Co. has paid the fine and taken “corrective actions” following the stormwater violations in 2013 at the South St. Paul Rod and Gun Club, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) announced.
MPCA inspectors found multiple stormwater and water quality violations, which allowed sediment from a berm construction project completed in 2012 to discharge many months later into several wetlands abutting the Mississippi River near Interstate 494 and Concord Street. In large enough amounts, sediment entering wetlands, streams or rivers can harm water quality and aquatic life.
The agency said the company failed to stabilize exposed soils, neglected to remove sediment deposited into wetlands, did not install perimeter controls, failed to maintain, repair or replace silt fencing, and failed to provide inspection and maintenance records requested by MPCA staff members.
Bolander President and co-owner Mark Ryan acknowledged Tuesday that “there were some things that we did not do properly” while building the noise-abatement berms.
Ryan said flooding and heavy rains in the spring of 2013 led to the sediment runoff.
“I think that stormwater management has been a big learning curve for contractors,” Ryan said. “As a company, we’ve learned a lot about the new erosion control measures, and our supervisors have been trained.”
Bolander, founded in 1924, has had a hand in several major projects in recent years in the Twin Cities area, including demolition of the Ford plant in St. Paul and the Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant site in Arden Hills, construction of the St. Croix River Bridge, removal of the Lowry Avenue Bridge in Minneapolis and salvage work in the wake of the I-35W Bridge collapse.