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Release Date: 4/9/2001
Contact Information: Leo Kay, (415) 744-2201

     SAN FRANCISCO -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today assessed the Beranna Dairy in Chino, Calif., a $48,000 penalty for manure overflows into a tributary of the Santa Ana River, a violation of the Clean Water Act.

     The EPA began investigating the dairy in March 2000 after discovering ongoing overflows from manure lagoons into a flood channel flowing to the Prado Dam, part of the Santa Ana River watershed.

     "If dairy manure had been properly managed and stored, our penalty could have been avoided," said Alexis Strauss, director of the Water Division in the U.S. EPA's Pacific Southwest Office.  "Now under a new operator, the dairy has improved maintenance at the facility and increased holding capacity in the manure ponds to prevent future overflows.  We are most encouraged by this commitment."

     This is the third penalty the EPA has levied against dairies in Chino in the past year for manure overflows.  In May 2000, the Goyenetche Dairy was penalized  $9,000 and in February 2001, the H & R Westra Dairy was penalized  $30,700.  Both dairies have since improved operations at their facilities to control manure overflows.  Large dairies have a long-standing legal obligation to store and manage liquid and solid manure to prevent discharges to surface water during all but the most extreme rains.

     The EPA, partnered with 14 industrial and government organizations, offers education and training programs to aid dairies in complying with Clean Water Act laws through the California Dairy Quality Assurance Environmental Stewardship program.  Its goal is to protect the state's surface and groundwater from manure contamination by providing dairy operators with clear guidelines and recommendations for complying with state and federal environmental regulations.

     For more information on this training program, call Deanne Meyer at the University of California, Davis at (530) 752-9391.

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