City agrees to fine related to burner closingPublished 11:19am Tuesday, April 9, 2013
The city of Fergus Falls has agreed to pay a $26,000 civil penalty in response to an allegation by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) regarding the municipal solid waste incinerator building demolition project (phase I).
The council went into closed session at its April 1 meeting to discuss the pending litigation of this issue. It reopened the meeting and approved a resolution to sign the stipulation agreement.
The MPCA alleges Fergus Falls failed to minimize the risk of an unplanned release to the environment of hazardous waste contaminated incinerator ash. The MPCA also alleges the city didn’t take sufficient protection measures during the initial temporary storage of demolition debris contaminated with incinerator ash in the demolition process, according to City Engineer Dan Edwards.
However, the city contends there was no actual, measurable release to the environment of contaminated material because the stockpiles were in a partially sheltered area and were frozen and snow covered due to the weather at the time of the work.
The phase I demolition contract was closed in December 2011. The city received its first letter in March 2010.
Along with the $26,000 penalty the city has agreed to pay, it has also agreed to take specified actions (many of which are already completed) to resolve the issue. By paying the penalty, the city is not admitting guilt, Edwards said.
This agreement needs to be approved next by the MPCA board, Edwards said.