Cattle ranch fined for polluting waterways

"Aquathin OP-Ed Commentary"

      Recall in my March 13, 2002 email, the comment "everyone lives downstream from someone else". How would you like to have the downstream address below!?!?!?


Cattle ranch fined for polluting waterways


     SACRAMENTO, CA — A Tehama County ranch accused of dumping dead cattle and manure into creeks that feed into the Sacramento River was fined $1.7 million on Monday by a US District Court judge.

Late last year, the Masami Cattle Ranch near Red Bluff reached a $1 million agreement with the state, the largest ever against an animal feeding operation in California, the Sacramento Bee reported.

In the federal court case, Manuel Madera Noriega, the ranch foreman, received a two-year felony probation and was fined $3,000, the newspaper said. The judge also ordered a $700,000 credit on the $1.7 million fine to reflect money paid to the state as a civil penalty for waste-management improvements.  The ranch also has agreed to pay $305,000 to the state to cover penalties and investigative costs, for total costs of more than $2 million over the pollution, the article said.  Assistant US Attorney Robin R. Taylor, who prosecuted the case, said the ranch is part of an enterprise that includes Masami Foods Inc., a slaughterhouse and meatpacking plant. The operation also includes Marusho Company Ltd. of Osaka, Japan, a wholesaler and distributor of meat in Japan.

With 6,000 cattle producing an estimated 391,000 pounds of manure a day, the Masami Ranch first ran into trouble in 1995, when water quality regulators cited it for various violations, according to state officials, the newspaper reported. In January 2000, the attorney general's office filed a civil complaint against the ranch and its owners. It alleged the ranch was mishandling manure, and had intentionally dumped waste and dead cattle into streams feeding the Sacramento River.

For about four years, the ranch discharged manure wastewater into Elder and Willow creeks, both of which feed into the Sacramento River, the newspaper said. The defendants also admitted in court to dumping dead cattle into ravines and waterways on the ranch.


Think Aquathin...AquathinK!!

Edited from Tech Bank 3/14/02