(County News file photo)

Cambria Company, a producer of natural stone surfaces for countertops and other uses, has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $10,200 to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), according to a release from the MPCA. The agency said the fine was for environmental violations at its Le Sueur facility. The facility must also take corrective actions to prevent future violations, the release said.

Cambria, though, noted that the issues were unintentional and related to a confusing permitting process. The company also noted that it made the report to the MPCA.

“In 2017, Cambria identified some record keeping and administrative issues related to its air permit during a self-audit,” a company representative said, “wherein Cambria then contacted the MPCA and made them aware of these missing reports, thereby self-reporting the administrative report omissions. The issues have been resolved.”

“In any event, Cambria has never had an air emission or pollutant issue at its Le Sueur facility,” said Brian Scoggin, Cambria’s EVP of Operations. “Cambria contacted the MPCA about these record keeping and clerical issues on our own accord and communicated our findings to the MPCA staff.”

A state inspection and file review found that the company had violated its air emissions permit. MPCA permits are designed to protect human health and the environment by limiting pollution emissions and discharges from facilities. When companies do not fully comply with permit requirements, the resulting pollution can be harmful to people and the environment.

Violations at Cambria, according to the MPCA, included not properly operating air-emissions control equipment, failing to submit emissions testing plans and reports on time between 2013 and 2018, and submitting equipment certifications and evaluations late.

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

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