Target Corporation has paid a fine and taken corrective action at its Brooklyn Park campus and Elk River Data Center, after the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency determined diesel-powered generators at the sites were violating emission standards.
The retailer also failed to provide required annual emission reports for the Elk River Data Center and did not provide updated annual emission reports for the Brooklyn Park campus. The company requested meetings with MPCA staff and voluntarily disclosed potential compliance issues, MPCA said.
Some technical miscalculations related to generator usage, in part, caused the company to misreport potential nitrogen oxide emissions. When correctly calculated, the emissions exceeded the threshold at which the company would be required to obtain permits and provide emission reports. The permits and reporting requirements are designed to limit emissions of NOx into the air. NOx, a byproduct of combustion, can cause respiratory problems in people, contribute to acid rain and cause other environmental problems, MPCA said.
Target has now obtained permits required for the generators and has submitted updated emission inventory reports for the years 2010-11 for the Brooklyn Park campus, and for 2008-12 for the Elk River Data Center. It has also paid a $27,500 civil penalty.
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. It also attempts to recover the calculated economic benefit gained by failure to comply with environmental laws in a timely manner, the MPCA says.
In June, Target earned LEED certification for its first 24 stores in Ontario. Stores in Ajax, Brampton, Fergus and Windsor were among those earning certification.