Tricounty News

Pan-O-Gold fined

Pan-O-Gold Baking Co. and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) have reached an agreement that requires the company to pay $442,600 alleged air-quality violations at its bread-  baking facility in St. Cloud. The violations included installing and operating equipment for bread and bun production lines, and beginning construction of a third production line without first obtaining required air quality permits. These actions were in violation of federal regulations, Minnesota statutes and MPCA rules requiring permings before  constructing and operating air-emission equipment. Of the $442,600, the company will pay $50,000 as a civil penalty to the MPCA. The remaining $392,600 will go toward two  Supplemental Environmental Projects. One project will pay the Minnesota Environmental Initiative $176,600 to help fund its Project Green Fleet, which provides diesel-emission-reduction retrofits on buses in the St. Cloud area. The remaining $216,000 will fund a project to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase thermal efficiency at Pan-O-Gold's  St. Cloud bakery. When calculating penalties, the MPCA takes into account how seriously the violation affected the environment, whether it is a first time or repeat violation, and how promptly the violation was reported to appropriate authorities.