Minnesota’s Kerry Biofunctional Ingredients Fined for Illegally Discharging Wastewater into Ponds & Wetlands

Aug. 12, 2021

Violations include illegal discharges into area wetlands and failing to obtain or renew required permits. 

Kerry Biofunctional Ingredients, Inc., a maker of food ingredients and flavors, violated several state environmental regulations.

These violations include illegal discharges into area wetlands and failing to obtain or renew required permits. 

According to The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) enforcement investigation, the company committed multiple industrial wastewater violations between 2018 and 2020 at its food-grade production facility and dry goods warehouse in Rochester, Minnesota.

The MPCA inspections found that the company: failed to properly describe and take samples of industrial byproduct as part of its land application process; allowed two unauthorized industrial wastewater discharges to area wetlands; and failed to properly monitor its storm water and to obtain a storm water permit for its warehouse.

Kerry Biofunctional Ingredients, Inc. also did not meet deadlines for reapplying for other required permits.

In addition to paying a $28,170 civil penalty to the MPCA, the company must:

  • Put industrial byproduct land application on hold, and develop a new sampling analysis and field calibration plan before resuming;

  • Implement a plan to prevent future unauthorized wastewater discharges;

  • Explain how the facility will ensure benchmark monitoring is completed on a regular basis; and

  • Apply for storm water permit coverage and explain how it will ensure permits are reapplied for on time.

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

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Cristina Tuser

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