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IFS investigated by MPCA for wastewater violations

Industrial Finishing Services, a metal coating company, has been the subject of a Minnesota Pollution Control Agency investigation for wastewater violations at its Perham, New York Mills and Deer Creek facilities, according to information released by the agency on Tuesday.

Industrial wastewater produced at the facilities is treated on-site to reduce pollutants before being discharged to city wastewater treatment facilities.

Inspections and file reviews by the MPCA in 2012 showed IFS failed to obtain disposal permits and monitor wastewater discharges at all three facilities.

In addition, the Deer Creek facility failed to submit required plans for sampling, analyzing and managing discharges. It also failed to submit monitoring reports for total toxic organics. The MPCA determined facility discharges exceeded limits for cyanide, chromium and zinc during periods in 2013.

The facility in New York Mills failed to conduct storm water inspections for a period of four months in 2011, and failed to submit discharge monitoring reports within required timeframes, according to the MPCA.

IFS has taken action to ensure that all three facilities are operated according to state laws designed to control the amount of pollutants leaving the site. It has also paid a $35,000 civil penalty.

A representative from IFS was not available for comment as of Thursday afternoon.

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.