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NEVADA DAIRY SENTENCED FOR CLEAN WATER ACT OFFENSE

Release Date: 05/06/99
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FOR RELEASE: THURSDAY, MAY 6, 1999

NEVADA DAIRY SENTENCED FOR CLEAN WATER ACT OFFENSE

Rockview Farms Inc., a California corporation which owns and operates the Ponderosa Dairy in Amargosa, Nev., was sentenced on April 26 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California in Fresno for violating the Clean Water Act and for making a false statement. Rockview was fined $250,000, and was ordered to upgrade the dairy to prevent future discharges. The court also ordered Rockview to reimburse the investigating agencies $6,900 for response and investigation costs, and ordered the defendant to purchase $10,000 worth of investigatory equipment for the North and South Central Valley Dairy Waste Enforcement Task Force. Rockview illegally discharged 1.7 million gallons of dairy waste water contaminated with urine and feces in February 1998 when a wastewater lagoon valve was left open for two days. The waste water flowed approximately eight miles across the desert and then into the Amargosa River in Inyo County, Calif. Exposure to fecal coliform and other pathogens in animal wastes can cause intestinal and other infections in humans and can also be harmful to aquatic life. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division, the California Department of Fish and Game, the Regional Water Quality Control Board, the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection, and was prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice.


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