One of largest and oldest waste service providers in the Duluth-Superior area has been cited and fined by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency following an investigation.  Hartel's Disposal LLC in Proctor was fined $20,000 as part of the citation.

The charges and the financial penalty stem from what the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency discovered; according to a release from the MPCA, Hartel's Disposal "discharged used motor oil and automotive fluids from a network of floor drains directly onto the ground around two of its buildings".  The agency also states that Hartel's "failed to stop the discharges and clean up the contamination".

According to the release by the MPCA, the agency also charges that Hartel's Disposal "improperly stored and disposed of paint thinner, failed to apply for a hazardous waste identification number, and operated two sites without required industrial stormwater permits".

The citation and penalty information was disclosed within a statement released by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency on May 13.  That release details that in addition to the $20,000 civil penalty,  Hartel's Disposal also needs to perform the following tasks:

  • Eliminate daylight floor drains within all buildings
  • Provide documentation that all contaminated soils were properly excavated and disposed of
  • Obtain required industrial stormwater permits and a hazardous waste identification number
  • Submit a plan to properly store and dispose of paint thinner

Hartel's Disposal is a recognizable name in the waste business in the Twin Ports.  Details on their website disclose that the company was founded in 1952 and does business as "the area's oldest and largest independent hauler".  Their company "provides residential and commercial service to the communities of Duluth, Hermantown, Proctor, Solway, Midway, Rice Lake, Pequaywan, North Star, Norman, Lakewood, Gnesen, Fredenberg, Duluth Townships, and areas surrounding Caribou, Island, and Pike Lake". Additionally, the company provides "home dumpsters and roll-offs along with business trash and recycling service to.....northern Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin".

Fines and citations levied by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency are determined by taking into account "how seriously the violations affected or could have affected the environment".  The state agency also takes a look at whether or not the violations were "first-time or repeat violations".

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