The company manufactures unsaturated polyester resins at its Minneapolis plant, and gel coats and colorants at its Vadnais Heights plant. At both sites, Interplastic Corporation is licensed by the MPCA as a large-quantity generator of hazardous wastes.
The MPCA initiated enforcement action against Interplastic Corp. after hazardous waste compliance inspections by Hennepin County staff at the Minneapolis plant on Sept. 18, 2008, and March 31, 2009, and by MPCA staff at the Vadnais Heights plant on March 16, 2009.
Among the violations that Interplastic Corp. allegedly committed was transferring at least 759 55-gallon drums and 33 pails of ignitable hazardous waste resin from its Vadnais Heights site to its Minneapolis site, which is not permitted to accept hazardous wastes generated elsewhere. The waste was allegedly then stored and treated at the Minneapolis plant without an MPCA hazardous waste facility permit.
In addition, Interplastic Corp. allegedly shipped ignitable hazardous waste resin from its Minneapolis plant to a third-party without the required manifests via a carrier not licensed or permitted by the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
Other alleged violations involved the improper storage of ignitable hazardous waste resin and glycol at the Minneapolis plant and failure to evaluate wastes within 60 days of their generation to see if they are hazardous.
In accordance with the stipulation agreement, Interplastic Corp. has stopped shipping ignitable hazardous waste gel coat or resin from its Vadnais Heights site to its Minneapolis site, and this waste is no longer being treated at the Minneapolis site. The company has also corrected the other deficiencies noted during the hazardous waste inspections.
One of the supplemental environmental projects that Interplastic Corp. has agreed to perform is installation of a dust-collection system at its Vadnais Heights plant at a cost of $110,200. This will decrease the amount of dust the company must dispose of as solid waste by about 60 55-gallon drums annually. It will also decrease the amount of raw material used in the production process, and decrease employee exposure to airborne dust.
The other supplemental environmental project involves improvements to the branch vent line to the thermal oxidizer at the Minneapolis plant at a cost of $153,600. This will decrease the amount of hazardous waste generated by about 30 drums annually, decrease the amount of solid waste generated by about 30 drums annually, and decrease fume emissions to the air.
The stipulation agreement is one of the tools the MPCA uses to achieve compliance with environmental laws. When calculating penalties, the agency takes into account how seriously the violation affected the environment, whether it is a first-time or repeat violation, and how promptly the violation was reported to appropriate authorities. A stipulation agreement also attempts to recover the calculated economic benefit gained by failure to comply with environmental laws in a timely manner. For more information about enforcement actions by the MPCA, go to http://www.pca.state.mn.us/pyri5fb.
FFI contact: Sam Brungardt with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (651-757-2249)
Link to the MPCA press release
* The Interplastic Corporation's Minneapolis plant is located several blocks north of the Como neighborhood at 2015 Broadway St. NE.