MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Minnesota company that recycles metal to make aluminum alloy pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court to failing to report pollutant emissions to the EPA and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), the Department of Justice said.
The plea agreement requires Spectro Alloys Corporation, which has an aluminum processing facility in Rosemount, to pay a $500,000 fine and develop, use and maintain effective emission reporting procedures.
Spectro, which bills itself as the Midwest’s largest scrap aluminum recycling plant, processes scrap metal to be made into aluminum alloys. That process emits various pollutants that are regulated under the Clean Air Act, the department said.
In addition to the fine and the requirement to develop new emission reporting techniques, the company also faces a two-year probation period, it must hire a full-time environmental health and safety manager, and it must report all emissions testing to the EPA and the MPCA.
Spectro initially faced charges for falsely reporting that its plant was working under pollution limits. The company pleaded guilty to submitting false reports in 2007, when Spectro didn’t disclose that its testing resulted in excessive dioxin emissions.
Furthermore, the company also admitted to falsely reporting dioxin emissions after the EPA sent the company an initial violation notice, the department said.
The department said Spectro will also likely install pollution control equipment in response to a civil settlement between the company and the EPA. The settlement has yet to be approved by a court, but, in its current state, it will make Spectro pay a $600,000 penalty, install equipment, undergo annual emissions testing and comply with pollutant reporting requirements.