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CALIFORNIA DAIRYMAN INDICTED FOR WATER POLLUTION

Release Date: 03/03/2000
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FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, MARCH 3, 2000

CALIFORNIA DAIRYMAN INDICTED FOR WATER POLLUTION

Joe Avis, owner and operator of the Joe Avis Dairy in Elk Grove, Calif., was indicted on Feb. 24 for illegally discharging wastewater in violation of the Clean Water Act. The indictment alleges that the defendant discharged animal waste containing urine, feces and wash water that flowed from the dairy into a drain that leads to Stone Lake and the Sacramento River. The discharges occurred on five occasions from January 1995 through February 1999. Dairy waste in surface waters can cause intestinal and other infections in people and can also be harmful to aquatic organisms and wildlife. Avis faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $1.25 million fine. This investigation was conducted by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division and the state of California Regional Water Quality Control Board. The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Fresno.

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