The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ordered six dairies located in the Southern California cities of Chino, Ontario, and Mira Loma to comply with federal wastewater discharge regulations or face fines up to $32,500 per day per violation.

The EPA issued the orders to the Legend Dairy #1, Legend Dairy #3, Sun Valley Jersey Dairy #1, Miersma Dairy #1, Tom Alger Dairy, and Venegas Dairy for failing to comply with their wastewater discharge permit requirements, violations of the federal Clean Water Act. Runoff from their facilities could pollute the Santa AnaRiver.

“These six dairies were cited for failing to comply with basic permit requirements addressing manure waste, which can pollute streams, rivers and groundwater,” said Alexis Strauss, director of the EPA’s water division for the Pacific Southwest. “Protecting public health and the environment is our primary goal and through participation in the California Dairy Quality Assurance Program – a program that has made significant progress improving the environmental performance of dairies statewide – we trust dairies will return to compliance promptly.”

At the request of the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board, the EPA inspected these dairies in March, 2007. The dairies are being cited for violations of state-issued permits, including: failure to execute waste management plans, failure to contain on-site manure waste; failure to properly design, construct, and manage manure containment structures; and failure to monitor and report to the state.

“The Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board benefits from its partnership with U.S. EPA in regulating wastewater discharges from dairies within the Santa Ana Region,” said Gerard Thibeault, Executive Officer of the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board. “We look forward to cooperative activities with U.S. EPA in the future to seek compliance with wastewater discharge standards.”

EPA press release