Shoshone Dairy Owner Sentenced for Violation of Clean Water Act
SHOSHONE, Idaho (KLIX)-A dairy owner north of Shoshone will pay a fine, conform to court ordered regulations, and serve probation for a misdemeanor violation of the Clean Water Act.
Acting U.S. Attorney Rafael Gonzalez, Jr. announced a U.S. magistrate judge ordered 60-year-old Andrew Fitzgerald, and his company 4 Brothers Dairy, Inc. (4 Bros) for unlawful discharge of pollutant into water of the United States in 2017. The company will have to pay a $95,000 fine, and Fitzgerald a $35,000 fine following an agreement with the court. 4 Bros will also have to obtain a National Pollution Discharge Eliminator System permit from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
4 Bros is a concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) near Shoshone that has around 1,000 head of cattle. According to court documents, in February of 2017 the area had seen record runoff due to snowmelt. One of the ponds designed to hold manure from the dairy filled and inadvertently breached, which dumped manure into a nearby canal that also ran into the Malad River and on to the Snake and Columbia rivers. Authorities charged 4 Bros and Fitzgerald didn't repair the breached pond for 14 days.
On two other occasions in February of 2017, the dairy experienced two more discharges of waste after equipment was used to cut a berm, lined with plastic, that allowed the wastewater to flow into the canal. At one point wastewater was pumped into the canal.
“The defendants’ conduct led to a serious impact to water quality in the state of Idaho,” said Scot Adair, Special Agent in Charge of EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division in the Northwest. “EPA and the Department of Justice hold accountable companies and individuals that pollute our waterways.”