BEMIDJI - The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has issued a notice of violation to a local bar accused of dumping its cooking grease down city stormwater drains.
The MPCA recently issued Toasty Beaver’s Sports Bar and Grill the notice after city employees found evidence that grease had been discharged into the drain behind the bar in early April.
“The NOV states the business failed to avoid polluting the sewer system and notify the MPCA of the discharge as required by provisions in two state statutes (duty to notify and avoid water pollution and inadequate treatment of waste),” Dan Olson, a MPCA public information officer, wrote in an email.
The notice lists four corrective actions the bar, located at 114 Third St. NW, must take. That includes submitting a plan within 30 days that describes how it will ensure grease and grey water won’t reach surface waters, submitting a report on how it will train employees on proper grease and grey water disposal and ceasing any unpermitted pollutant discharges into the city’s stormwater system.
Failure to complete those actions could result in further enforcement, Olson wrote. The violation notice doesn’t carry a financial penalty.
Toasty Beaver’s has already agreed to pay for the cleanup costs, but was also facing further penalties from the city. Their attorney, Minneapolis-based Ross Hussey has maintained that the grease didn’t end up in the drain intentionally, as the city has alleged.
He and city attorney Al Felix didn’t return calls seeking comment Thursday.