Idaho dairyman sentenced for waste discharges

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BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A federal judge has sentenced a Twin Falls dairyman to 60 days in jail for illegally diverting wastewater from his operation into a Magic Valley canal.

The judge on Wednesday also ordered 53-year-old Mike Vierstra to pay $12,000 in fines and serve three years of probation for violations that occurred on his farm in 2009.

A federal grand jury in March found Vierstra guilty of negligent discharge of a pollutant in violation of the Clean Water Act.

Prosecutors say a state agriculture department investigator was tipped off about illegal discharges into the Low Line Canal. The inspector then tracked the animal waste upstream to an open pipe on Vierstra's property.

State and federal regulators say Vierstra's dairy has a record of penalties and fines for noncompliance at his farm.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.


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