American Crystal Sugar Fined $350,000 for Air Pollution Violations

EAST GRAND FORKS, MN ( – American Crystal Sugar, operating a sugar beet processing plant in East Grand Forks, Minnesota, received a $350,000 fine from state regulators for air pollution violations. The plant, one of five operated by the cooperative in the Red River Valley, exceeded permissible levels of particulate matter and emitted high levels of hydrogen sulfide between 2020 and 2022, as per the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA). Additionally, the MPCA discovered deficiencies in the operation of air monitoring and pollution control equipment.

The MPCA aims to recover the economic benefits gained by the company’s non-compliance with environmental laws. Minnesota, the largest producer of sugar from beets in the nation, houses several cooperatives involved in beet processing, with American Crystal being a significant player.

Under a 2023 law, the Polk-Norman-Mahnomen Community Health Board will receive 40% of the fine ($140,000), marking the first case qualifying for this funding, which is mandated for MPCA fines exceeding $250,000.


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