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Georgia Rendering Plant Pleads Guilty in Clean Water Act Case

Release Date: 12/01/2004
Contact Information:


Contact: John Millett 202-564-7842 / millett.john@epa.gov

(12/01/04) Griffin Industries Inc., of Cold Spring, Ky., pleaded guilty on Nov. 22, in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia in Augusta to a misdemeanor violation of the Clean Water Act by discharging number six fuel oil through a designated storm water outfall into Bay Branch Creek. The plea agreement calls for the company to pay a fine of $50,000. The agreement also calls for the company to continue to employ an environmental consulting company for a minimum of 12 months to oversee the disposal of wastewater. Griffin Industries is a rendering plant that converts inedible animal waste into tallow, a main ingredient in cattle feed and dry pet food. According to charges in the plea agreement, employees of Griffin Industries’ East Dublin, Ga., plant violated the company’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System storm water permit by allowing number six fuel oil to enter the south storm water outfall. Rainfall or wash-down water from clean up procedures discharged the number six fuel oil from the south storm water outfall into Bay Branch Creek. Discharging wastewater containing number six fuel oil can be harmful to fish and other aquatic life. The case was investigated by the Atlanta Area Office of EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division, with the assistance of EPA’s National Enforcement Investigations Center, EPA Region IV, and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Environmental Protection Division. It was prosecuted by the U.S. attorney’s office for the Southern District of Georgia.