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July 15, 2008

Golden Oval Eggs Pays $200,000 Civil Penalty

AG's environmental lawsuit alleged water pollution violations at North-Iowa egg-production facility with up to 5.7 million chickens.

Golden Oval Eggs, LLC, a North-Iowa egg-production facility with a capacity of millions of chickens, has been ordered to pay a $200,000 environmental civil penalty for violating its wastewater discharge limits at its facility near Thompson, Iowa, about 30 miles northwest of Mason City.

The Order by Winnebago County District Court Judge Bryan H. McKinley resolves a lawsuit filed by Attorney General Tom Miller’s office last year.

Golden Oval’s egg production facility includes twenty-two barns with a capacity of 5.7 million chickens. Wastewater from the facility flows to a drainage ditch that runs into Pike Run Creek, a tributary of the Winnebago River, under a permit that establishes discharge limits and requires proper operation and maintenance to insure compliance and protection of the environment.

“We alleged that Golden Oval committed numerous and repeated violations of the discharge limits contained in its permit,” Miller said, including biochemical oxygen demand, total suspended solids, and ammonia-nitrogen. The suit alleged that violations continued despite three “Notices of Violations” issued by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

In addition to assessing the $200,000 civil penalty, the Court ordered Golden Oval to complete construction of improvements to its wastewater treatment facility permitted by the DNR on February 11, 2008. Golden Oval must complete site work, install new blowers, modify its lagoons and complete all construction by April 30, 2009. Judge McKinley’s “Consent Order, Judgment and Decree” was entered Monday afternoon at Winnebago County District Court in Forest City. Golden Oval agreed to the Order.

The Court also prohibited further environmental violations by Golden Oval.

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