Egg producer to pay fine for pollution

28-08-2006 | |

Ritewood Eggs has agreed to pay a US$105,000 fine for its involvement in polluting the Bear and Cub rivers with millions of gallons of chicken waste.

The Division of Water Quality announced that the company has agreed to pay to the state of Utah.

Walt Baker, the agency’s executive director, said the hefty fine was uncommon but not unprecedented. “The magnitude of the settlement is higher than we normally see, but so was the insult to the environment,” he said.

Since 1984, the division has handed down seven other six-figure fines, Baker said.

State officials say employees at the farm are to blame for punching a hole in a berm that allowed 2 million gallons of liquid waste to flow into an adjacent field and into a ditch, where it entered the Bear and Cub rivers through a drainage pipe.

The spill – which caused increased levels of E. coli bacteria, fecal coliforms and total coliforms to seep into points along the rivers – didn’t have significant ecological impacts, but reached nearly 2,000 feet downstream.

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