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3M cited for ‘low-level’ air quality violation

3M-Cottage Grove was tagged for what state officials said was a minor environmental violation late last year.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency last week reported that 3M’s abrasive systems division was fined $500 for an air quality violation.

3M has to conduct routine tests on its emissions stacks at the Cottage Grove plant. The tests measure the level of particulates that are emitted.

“They had a couple of tests that failed, but the problem has since been corrected,” said Steve Mikkelson, an MPCA information officer. “In this case, they did report it and it got corrected. In our range of environmental (violations), it’s a pretty low-level incident.”

The case was among 65 statewide that were completed by the MPCA in the final three months of 2013. The $500 fine was the lowest imposed by the MPCA in the 65 cases.

The amount of a fine is based on environmental harm, economic advantage gained or environmental corrective actions, according to the MPCA.

Scott Wente

Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011.

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