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Meat processor fined $40,000

BUFFALO LAKE -- A meat processor in Buffalo Lake will pay a $40,000 civil penalty for alleged violations of wastewater, permitting, and other hazardous waste rules.

The agreement with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency requires North Star Beef, Minnesota Beef and William Gilger to pay the penalty and correct the violations.

The beef-processing operation generates wastewater and industrial byproducts including manure and contaminated wash water. MPCA inspections in March documented unauthorized discharges, mismanagement of land application, and record-keeping violations. Inspectors observed the mishandling of waste resulting in an unapproved discharge of blood, water and manure into a road ditch. They also noted land application of waste within setbacks from waters and improper handing of old batteries and used oil.

The agreement requires the company to submit plans to prevent unpermitted discharges, establish a sampling and compliance plan, and design and implement an environmental management system.