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Idaho Fish Hatchery fined $98,000 for Clean Water Act violations

Release Date: 08/03/2010
Contact Information: Chris Gebhardt, NPDES Compliance Officer, (206) 553-0253, gebhardt.chris@epa.gov; Tony Brown, EPA Public Affairs, (206) 553-1203, brown.anthony@epa.gov

(Twin Falls, Idaho – August 3, 2010) Rainbow Trout Farms, Inc. has agreed to pay $98,002 to the Environmental Protection Agency to settle alleged federal Clean Water Act violations at its fish hatchery and processing facility near Filer, Idaho.

From October of 2007 through August of 2008, Rainbow Trout reported significantly higher levels of total residual chlorine, a toxic pollutant, than allowed by Rainbow Trout’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit. Further review by EPA showed that Rainbow Trout regularly failed to provide valid reports of chlorine limits to EPA for over four years.

In addition, the review found Rainbow Trout violated its previous and current NPDES permit by:

  • Exceeding monthly limits for total suspended solids, bio-chemical oxygen demand, and pH
  • Failing to report these exceedances to EPA
  • Failing to sample and report all parameters in June of 2008

According to Kim Ogle, NPDES Compliance Manager in Seattle, the Clean Water Act’s NPDES program relies on permit holders to provide information on pollution levels at their facilities.

“It’s disturbing that, month after month for years, this sophisticated operator failed to provide valid information to EPA on chlorine, a pollutant extremely toxic to fish and other organic organisms,” said EPA’s Ogle.

The NPDES permit program, a key part of the federal Clean Water Act, controls water pollution by regulating sources that discharge pollutants to waters in the United States.

For more information about EPA’s NPDES discharge program, visit:
http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/index.cfm