After being told by regulators that its wastewater discharge system did not meet federal standards, a Jerome dairy has been slapped with a $170,000 penalty.
The Environmental Protection Agency announced Monday that Idaho Milk Products had violated the Clean Water Act with its wastewater, which pours into the Jerome sewer system. Specifically, the EPA said the wastewater routinely failed to meet federal water quality limits for acidity. The facility said it had taken steps to ensure future discharges meet those standards.
From March 2009 through July 2012, the EPA said it had found that Idaho Milk Products exceeded the acidity limit 138 times. The EPA warns that high acidity can negatively affect bacteria and micro-organism that break down sewage.
"Look at it this way: A city is processing wastewater from residential homes, retail businesses and sometimes from industrial processing operations," said Ed Kowalski, enforcement director for EPA's Pacific Northwest Regional Office. "Industrial facilities can add a large volume of waste to the system. Companies must ensure their wastewater does not compromise the city treatment plant."