St. Paul Northern Iron and Machine fined over $41K by Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

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Northern Iron and Machine foundry in St. Paul was fined $41,500 by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency for air quality violations.

An investigation carried out by the MPCA found Northern Iron had removed, modified or replaced pollution control equipment throughout the facility without updating its permits, according to a Tuesday news release from the agency.

The foundry’s violations occurred over 15 years, the MPCA said, and over the course of five separate inspections the facility failed to disclose updates or changes made to the equipment.

Located in the Payne-Phalen neighborhood at 867 N. Forest St., Northern Iron is a full service foundry that produces metal castings and machined parts and has St. Paul roots dating back to 1906.

The inspections revealed that Northern Iron had removed and replaced emission units and control equipment and failed to recertify hoods after making changes that could lead to less efficient capturing of particulate matter, according to the MPCA.

The foundry was also operating some of its pollution control equipment out of the permitted ranges, per the release, and had failed to disclose all of the facility’s activities in previous permit applications that would have required it to conduct ambient air modeling, which demonstrates compliance with ambient air quality standards.

In addition to paying the fine, the foundry was ordered to submit a plan for annual hood certifications, seek appropriate permits for equipment modifications, operate all air quality control equipment within its permits, submit major permit amendments and ambient air modeling protocol as well as track operating hours of furnace melting, metal casting and metal finishing.

Northern Iron could not be immediately reached for comment on Wednesday.

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