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Forum News Service, Published June 20 2013

Minnesota bar issued violation notice for grease in sewer system

BEMIDJI, Minn. - 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 notice lists four corrective actions the bar 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, Dan Olson, a MPCA public information officer, said in an email.

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. Its 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.