Red Wing Shoe Company fined $30,000 for violating air quality regulations

The Red Wing Shoe Company has been fined for violating air quality requirements at two footwear production facilities in Red Wing, Minnesota.

The company paid $30,000 after an investigation by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) found multiple air quality permit requirements were violated in 2020 and 2021, according to a news release.

MPCA inspections confirmed that the maintenance, recordkeeping and reporting violations included failing to:

  • Properly calculate emissions for hazardous air pollutants (HAPS), small and very small particulate matter (PM 10 and PM 2.5), and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
  • Conduct daily, monthly and quarterly inspections for pollution control equipment.
  • Conduct annual calibrations, tune-ups and evaluations of pollution control equipment and boilers.
  • Submit federal reporting and fully report all impacted recordkeeping resulting from a cyber security attack in 2020.

In addition to paying the $30,000 fine, Red Wing Shoe Company had to submit detailed plans to ensure proper maintenance, recordkeeping, inspections and reporting in accordance with its air permits at both facilities.

MPCA rules and regulations are designed to limit pollution emissions and discharges from facilities.

The MPCA looks at how seriously the violations affected or could have affected the environment and whether they were first-time or repeat offenses when calculating penalties.

The agency also considers the economic benefit the company gained by failing to comply with environmental laws in a timely manner.