National Beef faces $3.7 million water pollution fine
By Tom Johnston on 4/15/2014
National Beef Packing Co.’s slaughterhouse in Brawley, Calif., faces a fine of more than $3.7 million for alleged water pollution violations.
In a complaint filed Friday, the Colorado River Basin Regional Water Quality Control Board accuses National Beef of discharging excessive amounts of ammonia, bacteria and other pollutants into the New River, a tributary to the Salton Sea.
The slaughterhouse, which National Beef will close in May due to tight cattle supplies, processes some 2,300 head per day at Brawley and, according to the water board’s complaint, generates about 1.6 million gallons of wastewater per day. Its effluent flows to the city of Brawley’s wastewater treatment plant.
The complaint states that between May 2009 and May 2011 National Beef received 95 violation notices from the city “related to its discharge of slaughterhouse pretreated wastes.”
The water board has scheduled a hearing on the matter for June 19 in Yucca Valley.