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Plainview, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has levied a $20,000 fine against a Rochester area agriculture business.

The MPCA says the fine stems from a spill involving nearly 7000 gallons of cream at Plainview Milk Products Cooperative in April 2023. A news release indicates the cream drained into the facility's wastewater and sewer system, which feeds into the Plainview-Elgin Sanitary District wastewater treatment plant.

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According to the state agency, the flow of cream exceeded the cooperative's daily maximum discharge limit. The discharge of suspended solids was 15 times above the allowable limit, carbonaceous biological oxygen levels were 11 times above the limit, and phosphorus discharges were three times over the daily cap.

The news release says about 100 gallons of cream mixed with wastewater also ended up flowing into a ditch just southeast of Plainview. The MPCA also faulted the cooperative for failing to immediately investigate and report the discharges to the state as required by its permit.

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Beyond the financial penalty, Plainview Milk Products Cooperative was also required to recover the cream from the ditch, review and revise its release and response procedures, submit a report on how it will prevent future unauthorized releases, and evaluate and revise the facility's automated alarm system.

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