CAFO to pay record fine for Clean Water Act violations

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WASHINGTON, DC, May 19, 2011 -- Texas egg producer Mahard Egg Farm will pay $1.9 million in civil penalties for violating the Clean Water Act at its facilities in Texas and Oklahoma.

The complaint, filed jointly with the settlement by the United States and the states of Texas and Oklahoma, alleges that Mahard operated a facility without a permit and discharged pollutants into area waterways.

Mahard also allegedly discharged pollutants or otherwise failed to comply with the terms of its permits at six other facilities, including its newest facility near Vernon, Texas. In addition, the Vernon facility failed to comply with the Texas Construction Storm Water Permit and to ensure safe drinking water for its employees.

The states of Texas and Oklahoma also alleged violations of state laws.

The civil penalty is the largest amount to be paid in a federal enforcement action involving a concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO). The company will also spend approximately $3.5 million on comprehensive, system-wide changes in order to bring each of its seven CAFO facilities into compliance and to restore the lands to prevent future discharges to area waterways.

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