Pig farm fined $1 Million for water violations.
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Pig farm fined $1 million for water violations
MARTINSBURG, MO — Cargill Pork Inc., which operates a 17,000-pig farming operation here, pleaded guilty to violating the Clean Water Act and will pay a $1 million fine, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said.
The case is one of two announced by EPA related to hog farms. A North Carolina operation could be facing a $1 million fine for charges there, EPA said.
Cargill Pork will also pay $51,000 in restitution to the state of Missouri for natural resources damages and the costs of investigation, as well as $500,000 in already spent remediation costs, EPA said. The defendant admitted illegally discharging hog waste from holding ponds at its facility into Loutre River, which is a tributary of the Missouri River. The discharge occurred due to a failure to properly operate waste management equipment, the agency said. EPA said no report of the release was made to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. After the release, 53,000 fish were killed along a five-mile stretch of the Loutre River. The case was investigated by EPA's Criminal Investigation Division, the Department of Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the Missouri Attorney General's Office with the assistance of EPA's National Enforcement Investigations Center.
EPA also said that Lakeview Packing Corp. of Snowhill, NC, pleaded guilty to violating the Clean Water Act. The hog slaughter and processing company admitted to conspiring with its employees to intentionally discharge processing wastes and human wastes from its facility through a drainage pipe into Tyson Marsh that empties into Contentnea Creek, a tributary of the Neuse River.
The amount discharged averaged approximately 30,000 gallons per day, said EPA. The discharge of animal processing wastes into surface waters can make them unsafe for drinking and can promote the growth of microorganisms that can be harmful to fish, wildlife and humans.
When sentenced, Lakeview Packing faces a maximum potential fine of up to $1 million. The case was investigated by EPA's Criminal Investigation Division and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation with the assistance of EPA's National Enforcement Investigations Center.
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Edited fromTech Bank 3/1/02