According to a Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) enforcement investigation, Plainview Milk Products Cooperative allowed milk-laden industrial wastewater to drain from its facility and into a nearby unnamed creek on two separate occasions in 2022.
The creek drains directly to the North Fork of the Whitewater River, which is a designated trout stream.
The company failed to immediately report these releases to the Minnesota Duty Officer and the MPCA as required in its permit.
The investigation also confirmed that the company had an inadequate system to monitor its wastewater flows, and between 2019 and 2022, more than 20% of its required monthly discharge monitoring reports were submitted late.
In addition to paying the $17,820 civil penalty, Plainview Milk has completed a series of corrective actions.