Division of Water Resources issues Notice of Violation to B&L Farms

Raleigh, NC
The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Division of Water Resources (DWR) issued to B&L Farms a notice of violation and intent to enforce related to a June 12 animal waste lagoon breach. The breach released an estimated three million gallons of animal waste in Sampson County.
 
DWR staff inspected B&L Farms, collected water samples and determined the lagoon failure resulted in wastewater and solids/sludge spreading from the lagoon into farms, wetlands, and into an unnamed tributary in the Cape Fear River Basin.
 
The notice from the division describes the findings of the investigation, the multiple violations under General Permit AWG100000 and violations of the state water quality standards. The notice also provides detailed instructions to the owner on the actions that must be taken.
 
The permit violations include failure to prevent the discharge of waste to surface waters or wetlands, failure to inspect the waste collection, treatment, and storage system following a storm event greater than one-inch rain, and failure to maintain records and make them readily available.  
 
The required actions include providing to DWR a plan of action for the repair or replacement of the lagoon embankment or proper closure of the lagoon, a detailed account of actions taken to recover wastes including estimated volumes, dates, locations, etc., and a list detailing the steps to be taken to prevent these violations from occurring in the future.
 
The state’s violation notice directs B&L Farms to provide its written response within 20 days. The information provided by the permit holder will be reviewed and considered by division staff before the agency determines whether to issue a civil penalty.
 
A copy of the notice is available here

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