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Bongards cheese plant in Perham fined $79,000

Published 5:31pm Wednesday, December 19, 2012

DETROIT LAKES, Minn. (AP) — Bongards’ Creameries has paid a $79,000 fine to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency for wastewater violations at its cheese plant in Perham.

The MPCA says its inspectors last year substantiated a complaint that the facility was spray-irrigating wastewater onto land covered with snow in violation of its permit. The inspection also found the facility’s wastewater lagoons were too full, near the top of their dikes. The MPCA also later found that wastewater from the plant was being discharged into Perham’s storm sewer system in violation of its permit.

In addition to paying the fine, the MPCA says, Bongards’ has taken steps to prevent excessive buildup of wastewater in its treatment ponds and to ensure that all sources of wastewater from its Perham facility are treated according to its permit requirements.

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