8 violations of Fairview Trail construction stormwater permit result in civil penalties

Sediment flowed into stream/wetlands during Gull Lake Trail construction.

Photo illustration, Shutterstock, Inc.

Gull Lake — According to a Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) enforcement investigation, Fairview Township and Gladen Construction, Inc., failed to adequately prevent erosion and sediment runoff along a four-mile stretch during construction of the Fairview portion of the Gull Lake Trail project during fall 2021. Nearly 1,500 square feet of sediment, carried by stormwater runoff, was found to have flowed into four different wetlands and a stream that were all adjacent to the trail.

Additionally, thousands of square feet of soil were exposed and not stabilized, thousands of linear feet of sediment control devices were missing, and numerous existing erosion and sediment control devices were in disrepair. In total, agency staff observed eight different violations of the MPCA’s construction stormwater permit on site.

For violating the permit, Fairview Township and Gladen Construction have each paid $16,710 in civil penalties to the MPCA. The parties have also completed a series of corrective actions to recover sediment from the wetlands and stream, and installed and maintained erosion prevention and sediment control best management practices, as required by the permit.

MPCA rules and regulations are designed to protect human health and the environment by limiting pollution emissions and discharges from facilities. When companies do not fully comply with regulatory requirements, the resulting pollution can be harmful to people and the environment.

When calculating penalties, the MPCA takes into account how seriously the violations affected or could have affected the environment, and whether they were first-time or repeat violations. The agency also attempts to recover the economic benefit the company gained by failing to promptly comply with environmental laws.


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