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Superior Industries pays MPCA fine, makes changes to reduce air pollutant emissions

MORRIS -- In an agreement with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), Superior Industries of Morris has taken corrective actions to protect the environment from excessive air pollutant emissions from its operations.

In December 2010, the MPCA received reports from Superior Industries that showed its emissions of hazardous air pollutants, including volatile organic compounds, exceeded permitted levels every month from January 2007 through June 2010. A subsequent report indicated the exceedances continued through January 2011.

An environmental audit conducted by the company in December 2010 revealed a generator installed for emergency use was operated for other reasons and not listed in the facility's inventory, control equipment had not been installed on a sandblasting booth, and problems existed with spray hood certification and recordkeeping.

Superior Industries completed several actions to correct all these issues, and has paid a $20,000 penalty to the MPCA.

When calculating penalties, the MPCA 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. It also attempts to recover the calculated economic benefit gained by failure to comply with environmental laws in a timely manner.