News Release

For release: Sept. 19, 2012

Contacts:
Esther Westbrook, Environmental Law Specialist, Portland, 503-229-5374
Carl Nadler, Water Quality Permitting, The Dalles, 541-298-7255, ext. 227

ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston Food Processing Plant in Hermiston Fined $1,625 for Wastewater Permit Violation

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has issued a $1,625 penalty to ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston Inc. for a wastewater permit violation at its frozen fruit and vegetable processing plant at 78153 Westland Road, Hermiston.

 

The company operates a sewage treatment plant at the site under a DEQ-issued Water Pollution Control Facilities permit. The permit places specific limits on amounts of various pollutants that may be disposed at the site. The company disposes of treated effluent from the plant by sub-surface irrigation under grass landscaping at the site.

 

The Lamb Weston plant violated the permit in June 2012 by exceeding the limit for disposal of nitrate, a pollutant generated in sewage treatment. DEQ issued the penalty because inadequately treated sewage poses a threat to public health and the environment. The plant is in the Lower Umatilla Basin Groundwater Management Area, an area known to have high nitrate levels. High levels of nitrate can pollute groundwater wells and present a health concern for the public.

 

ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston has until Sept. 26 to appeal the penalty.

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