MPCA fines Boston Scientific over $11K for air quality violations at Maple Grove facility

Boston Scientific Corp. will have to pay $11,186 for air quality violations at its medical supply production facility in Maple Grove, according to a news release from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA).

MPCA said its investigators found that on two occasions in 2022, Boston Scientific added production equipment that increased its potential to emit pollutants without first obtaining the proper permits.

The news release states that the second addition resulted in “actual methanol emissions above emission limits” at the facility in September of that year.

The company then reportedly reduced its production until it installed a temporary vapor recovery unit earlier this year.

MPCA said Boston Scientific also failed to submit the required emission inventory report for 2021 and 2022, but those inventories were later submitted and are now accounted for.

The company has since obtained the permit needed to cover its added equipment and installed a regenerative thermal oxidizer to reduce hazardous emissions, according to MPCA.

The fine amount is reportedly decided by calculating how seriously the violations affected or could have affected the environment and if these were first-time or repeat violations. MPCA said it also tries to recover the economic benefit the company gained by initially failing to comply with environmental protection laws.

In response to the fine, Boston Scientific released the following statement:

“We took swift and successful actions to address the emission levels, including curtailing production and emissions to remain under the permitting threshold. We also connected with third-party engineering firms and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) to confirm results and continue monitoring our outside exhaust emissions.

“In working with the MPCA, we obtained an additional permit and installed a thermal oxidizer for continued emission controls, which is operating as intended. We have remained in compliance since taking these steps.”