Tara Monks / EPA fines: Idaho-based cheese maker Sorrento pays for Clean Water Act violations

EPA fines: Idaho-based cheese maker Sorrento pays for Clean Water Act violations

Environmental Attorney Alert: EPA fines Sorrento Lactalis Inc. $315,000 for Clean Water Act violations, wastewater discharge.

Cheese maker pays fines for CWA violations.
EPA fines: Idaho-based cheese maker Sorrento pays for Clean Water Act violations

// West Palm Beach, FL, USA // Tara Monks // Tara Monks

Washington, DC – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Wednesday, August 18, 2010, that Sorrento Lactalis Inc., a cheese manufacturer, will pay the United States $315,000 for Clean Water Act violations. According to the press release, Sorrento discharged excess levels of wastewater into Mason Creek from its factory operations in Nampa, Idaho.

Mason Creek is a tributary to the Boise River.

Sorrento repeatedly violated its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for three years, from December 2005 until September 2008.

According to the release, violations include:

* Failure to collect and analyze samples
* Exceeding its monthly and daily discharge limits for total suspended solids, E.coli, biological oxygen demand, phosphorus, and pH
* Failure to notify EPA of its excess discharges in a timely manner

Under Sorrento’s NPDES permit, the firm discharges approximately 650,000 gallons per day of processed wastewater. Since the EPA investigation, Sorrento brought its treatment facility into compliance with the permit.

Ignacia S. Moreno, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division stated, “The Justice Department will strenuously enforce compliance with regulations that protect our waterways…We will continue to seek penalties when companies fail to comply with their permit obligations.”

The EPA points out the Boise River is a salmon habitat with strict water quality limits for nutrients, including phosphorus. Phosphorus depletes oxygen levels, which can negatively affect the habitat.


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