Shoshone dairy, owner sentenced for wastewater violation stemming from 2017 flooding
During this period of flooding, a catchment area on the east side of the dairy overtopped, inadvertently breached, and discharged snowmelt along with manure into the canal
BOISE, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — A Shoshone dairy farm and its owner were recently sentenced for discharging wastewater into an adjacent canal during flooding in February 2017.
The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Idaho made the announcement Monday in a statement. Through a plea deal, 4 Bros. and Andrew Fitzgerald were sentenced for a misdemeanor violation of the Clean Water Act.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy W. Dale ordered 4 Bros. to pay a $95,000 fine and ordered Fitzgerald, 60, to pay a $35,000 fine. As part of its plea agreement entered in the case, 4 Bros. also agreed to obtain a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit issued under the Clean Water Act by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
According to court records, 4 Bros. dairy has at least 1,000 head of cattle and maintains wastewater lagoons that are adjacent to the Milner-Gooding Canal. The canal flows to the Malad River and on to the Snake and Columbia rivers.
In the winter season of 2017, record precipitation, record snowpack, and flooding occurred, leading to extreme runoff at the 4 Bros. property, the statement said. During this period of flooding, a catchment area on the east side of the dairy overtopped, inadvertently breached and discharged snowmelt along with manure into the canal.
Court documents indicate the event that occurred on Feb. 10, 2017, was not reported and was not repaired until Feb. 23, 2017.
According to the statement, two other discharges occurred between Feb. 19 and Feb. 22, 2017.
“On the west side of the dairy, 4 Bros. used earth-moving equipment to cut open a berm and lined it with plastic to cause manure-laden wastewater from a lagoon to flow into the canal. At the central portion of the dairy, 4 Bros. mechanically pumped manure-laden wastewater from a wastewater lagoon into the canal. 4 Bros. additionally admitted that these discharges were negligent under the circumstances.”
As part of the plea agreement, 4 Bros. also agreed to commit no further Clean Water Act violations and to provide the EPA and state regulators with full access to 4 Bros.’ operations as well as books and records upon reasonable notice to ensure compliance with the Clean Water Act.
Read the full statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
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