The US Attorney’s Office for Oregon says that Noble Family Dairy negligently discharged cow manure into Caris Creek that ultimately fed into the Applegate River.
“By disregarding the maximum number of cattle allowed by its waste management permit, the Noble Family Dairy caused significant environmental harm to two waterways shared and enjoyed by countless Rogue Valley residents and visitors,” said Nathan J. Lichvarcik, Chief of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Eugene and Medford Branch Offices. “Our nation’s environmental laws exist to protect human health and the environment, and we will continue working closely with our partners at EPA to hold accountable anyone who violates them.”
Manure and wastewater from dairies and other concentrated animal feeding operations have the potential to contribute pollutants such as nitrogen and phosphorus, organic matter, sediments, pathogens, hormones and antibiotics to the environment.
Noble Family Dairy was ordered to pay a $25 thousand fine after the guilty plea.
The government says the dairy had 130 more head of cattle than it was permitted. After heavy rainfall in early 2019, a runoff trench failed, discharging the manure into the creek and then river.
“This defendant’s actions caused the discharge of manure into the Applegate River and Caris Creek, causing significantly elevated levels of E. coli in the water,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Benjamin Carr of EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division in Oregon. “EPA and its partners will continue to protect the waters of the United States from illegal pollution discharges that contribute to serious health problems and put our communities at risk.”
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