Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, October 19, 1998

Winsted Farmers Co-op Creamery awarded 'Green Star' by MPCA

Governor Arne H. Carlson has recognized Winsted Farmers Co-op Creamery Association as a recipient of a "Green Star" by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) for completing environmental audits of its underground storage-tank systems. Green Star awards signify successful participation in the MPCA's innovative environmental auditing program.

"The Green Star awards are important because they identify businesses that have taken the initiative to make sure that they are in compliance with environmental laws," said Governor Carlson.

Ed Olson, an inspector with the MPCA Regular Facilities Unit, presented the award to Gary Deidrick, manager of the Winsted Farmers Co-op Creamery Association, on Sept. 17. According to MPCA Commissioner Peder Larson, the audit program demonstrates the agency's commitment to focusing first on technical assistance and helping regulated parties to comply with environmental regulations, rather than solely on enforcement.

The purpose of the environmental auditing program is to encourage industry, businesses and local governments to conduct environmental audits of their facilties and correct any problems that are discovered, without the fear of fines or penalties. If problems are found, in most cases the party conducting the audit is given a 90-day amnesty period to make the necessary improvements.

Companies may hire outside firms to conduct audits, or they can use self-evaluation checklists prepared by the MPCA, which cover all areas of environmental regulation including hazardous waste, liquid-storage tanks, solid waste, air quality and water quality.


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