Feds file pollution charges against House of Raeford Farms Inc.

Feds file pollution charges against House of Raeford Farms Inc.

Source: Fayetteville Observer (NC), July 12, 2012
Posted on: http://envfpn.advisen.com

Federal prosecutors have re-filed claims against House of Raeford Farms Inc. and its management for illegally dumping turkey blood and organs.

According to a grand jury indictment filed June 26 the previously 14 alleged incidents of illegal dumping that were dismissed in February are being re-charged.

All incidents were violations of the Clean Water Act, a federal law to prevent, reduce and eliminate water pollution and safely oversee water quality, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors allege the Hoke County-based poultry processing plant and plant manager, Gregory Steenblock, discharged untreated wastewater 14 separate times between February 2005 and August 2006.

The first case was dismissed without prejudice by U.S. District Court Judge James Beaty.

In his opinion and order, Beaty, who serves the state’s Middle District, cited a violation of the Speedy Trial Act.

Under that act, a defendant must be brought to trial within 70 days of his or her indictment. House of Raeford officials successfully argued that federal prosecutors did not adhere to the act’s guidelines.

Instead, prosecutors let 153 days lapse and the case should be dismissed.

According to court documents, House of Raeford paid nearly $1 million in fines and surcharges for the violations.

Additionally, the plant was upgraded with a $1.4 million expanded pretreated plant.

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