News Releases from Region 09
Central Valley Meat Company Incorporated Agrees to Improve Drinking Water at Hanford Facility
HANFORD, Calif. –The Central Valley Meat Company, Incorporated (CVM) has agreed to bring its facility’s drinking water system into compliance with the federal Safe Drinking Water Act as part of a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This enforcement action was referred to EPA by California’s State Water Resources Control Board – Division of Drinking Water.
EPA’s administrative order on consent, issued February 10, requires CVM to provide bottled water to its workforce and comply with the arsenic maximum contaminant level (MCL) of 10 micrograms per liter by no later than December 2022. The facility is located in Kings County and provides daily water service to a workplace of approximately 280 people. The system has been serving water with arsenic levels above the MCL since at least 2016, and CVM has not consistently notified users of the drinking water system of the violations.
Arsenic, a naturally occurring mineral found throughout the United States, can be found in groundwater. Drinking high levels of arsenic over many years can increase the chance of lung, bladder and skin cancers, as well as heart disease, diabetes, and neurological damage. Arsenic inhibits the body’s ability to fight off cancer and other diseases.
“Our goal is to protect public health and ensure Central Valley Meat Incorporated’s employees have safe drinking water at their workplace,” said John Busterud, Regional Administrator for the EPA’s Pacific Southwest office. “Drinking water systems must comply and address health-based violations in a timely manner.”
EPA’s action follows separate compliance orders issued in 2009, 2015 and 2018 by Kings County Department of Public Health to the company for violations of the arsenic standard.
CVM has agreed to provide a compliance plan by April 2020 outlining how it will comply with the arsenic MCL standard and will provide bottled drinking water to each user of the water system until the system meets Safe Drinking Water Act standards. CVM will provide EPA with quarterly reports to document its progress.
EPA will continue to monitor CVM’s efforts to provide safe drinking water and may levy penalties if the company fails to meet the compliance provisions in the settlement.
For more information on EPA's drinking water program, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/sdwa