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CALIFORNIA RANCH, OWNER, FOREMAN SENTENCED

Release Date: 03/29/2002
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FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2002
CALIFORNIA RANCH, OWNER, FOREMAN SENTENCED

Luke C. Hester 202-564-7818 / hester.luke@epa.gov


Masami Cattle Ranch (MCR) of Tehema County, Calif., and its owner, Masami Ishida, and foreman, Manuel Madera Noriega, were sentenced on March 18 for violating the Clean Water Act. MCR was sentenced to pay a $1.7 million fine, $700,000 of which will be reduced because of a civil settlement that MCR has already paid to the state of California. Ishida will serve six months home detention as part of one year of probation. Madera was sentenced to two years probation and a $3,000 fine. MCR has operated a beef cattle ranch in Corning, Calif. since 1989, which generally maintains approximately 5,000-8,000 head of cattle. The beef is exported to Japan. The defendants previously admitted to discharging, without proper permits, cattle waste and dumping dead cattle carcasses into Elder and Willow Creeks and their tributaries which run across the ranch. These creeks feed into the Sacramento River. The discharge of manure and dumping of dead animals into surface waters creates a risk of spreading bacteria and other pathogens which can harm aquatic life and animals that use the waters and make the waters unsafe for recreational and drinking water purposes. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division with assistance from the Redding Division of the California Regional Water Quality Control Board. It was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Sacramento.

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