Skip to main content

Fish kill from wastewater is part of $1.5M pollution fine for MN beet group

  • Author:
  • Updated:

A Minnesota sugar beet cooperative that discharged wastewater into a creek – leading to a big fish kill – will pay $1.5 million for that incident, and other environmental violations.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reached a settlement with the Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative, they announced in a press release.

The site was linked to excessive emissions of hydrogen sulfide, which is a poisonous, potentially-explosive chemical, as well as wastewater discharges that killed fish in neighboring Beaver Creek in 2013.

The cooperative said it will correct the violations at its processing plant in southwestern Minnesota, near Renville. The agreement requires the co-op to improve their monitoring and sampling and pay a $1 million dollar penalty, plus an additional $49,000 for the Beaver Creek fish kill.

In a separate agreement with the MPCA, the co-op will have to take additional steps to prevent hydrogen sulfide air emissions, and pay a nearly $500,000 penalty. That's almost twice as much as the total fines issued by the MPCA in all of 2015, which came in at $225,258.

By 2017, if violations continue, there could be additional penalties.

The cooperative was found in 1974 and has more than 500 shareholders that produce about 3 million tons of sugar beets annually, raised on more than 100,000 acres in central Minnesota.

Next Up

Michael Miller

Charges: Drunk driver killed former chair of Hibbing Chamber of Commerce

Michael Miller's blood-alcohol content was nearly three times the legal limit at the time of the crash.

Mystic Lake

Charges: Man attacked Mystic Lake security with 2x4

A chaotic scene unfolded after the man approached the bell stand late Friday.


SWAT presence in Eagan neighborhood Tuesday morning

There's a developing story out of Eagan.


Comedian claims hotel bed bug ruined his Twin Cities visit

The Hilton Garden Inn in downtown Minneapolis states otherwise.

Lindahl lawsuit

Kris Lindahl suing realtor, accusing him of copying arms out pose

The real estate agent is accused of breach of contract and copyright infringement.

Screen Shot 2022-08-16 at 8.44.12 AM

Pair wanted for questioning for assault, property crimes in Hugo

Surveillance footage was released by the Washington County Sheriff's Office.

Screen Shot 2022-08-11 at 2.49.44 PM

15,000 Minnesota nurses 'overwhelmingly' authorize strike

Overworked and underpaid, the Minnesota Nurses Association is ready to strike.


Northshore Mining to pay $240,175 pollution fine

The company has agreed to pay the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency over air quality violations. The Lake County News-Chronicle reports the violations were for excessive levels of fine dust that is unhealthy to breathe. The paper says Northshore is also taking steps to ensure the violation doesn't happen again.