Ohio poultry operation pleads guilty
May 25, 2009 by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
May 22, 2009, Chicago, Ill. – Ohio Fresh Eggs, LLC (OFE) recently
pleaded guilty to illegally discharging egg wash water into a tributary
of Tymochtee Creek.
May 22, 2009, Chicago, Ill. – Ohio Fresh Eggs, LLC (OFE) recently pleaded guilty to illegally discharging egg wash water into a tributary of Tymochtee Creek.
According to a press release from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a plea agreement from OFE was filed with the court that recommends the poultry operation serve a three-year term of probation. During the term of probation, it is recommended that OFE pay a fine of $150,000 and pay a total of $150,000 to three charitable environmental organizations, as part of community service. OFE has also agreed to make a number of improvements to its facility, including the addition of another field to which the egg wash water will be applied.
OFE is the largest egg producer in Ohio with 12 production facilities located in the state, including a commercial egg farm located in Marseilles that houses approximately three million laying hens.
Eggs produced at the Marseilles OFE facility are washed prior to shipment. The water from the egg washing process is collected in a lagoon at the farm. This wastewater contains broken eggs, soap, and a minor amount of manure. To dispose of the wastewater in the lagoon, OFE has a permit to apply it to a nearby field.
A contractor for OFE directed a crew that applied the wastewater to the field. At the contractor's direction, the wastewater was applied onto the field through the night of March 6, 2007, and into next morning, March 7. As a result, the wastewater was over-applied and flowed off the field, through a series of drainage tiles, into Kreisel Ditch and subsequently into Tymochtee Creek.
Both OFE and the contractor were charged with violating the Clean Water Act. The charge against the contractor is still pending.