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Pacific Southwest, Region 9

Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, Tribal Nations

Sample of Findings of Violation and Order

In the Matter of 

Docket No. CWA-308-X-XX-XX

Dairy Owner
County, CA XXXXX

Proceeding under Sections 308(a)
and 309(a)(1), (a)(3), (a)(4)
and (a)(5)(A) of the Clean Water
Act, as amended, 33 U.S.C. 1318(a)
and 1319(a)(1), (a)(3), (a)(4),


The following Findings of Violation and Order is issued under the authority vested in the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") by sections 308(a) and 309(a)(1), (a)(3), (a)(4), and (a)(5)(A) of the Clean Water Act, [33 U.S.C. 1318(a), and 1319(a)(1), (a)(3), (a)(4), and (a)(5)(A)]. This authority has been delegated by the Administrator and the Regional Administrator to the Director of the Water Division of EPA, Region 9.


The Director finds:

1. Section 301(a) of the Act, 33 U.S.C. 1311(a), provides that except as in compliance with certain specified sections of the Act, including section 402, "the discharge of any pollutant by any person shall be unlawful." Section 402 of the Act, 33 U.S.C. 1342, provides for the issuance of National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System ("NPDES") permits allowing for the discharge of pollutants to waters of the United States.

2. [Dairy owner] operates the [Dairy] at [address].

3. [Tributary] is adjacent to [Dairy]. [Tributary] flows into the [River].

4. [Dairy] is a facility where (i) more than 700 mature dairy cows have been confined for a total of more than 45 days in a 12-month period, and (ii) neither crops, vegetation forage growth, nor post-harvest residues are maintained in the normal growing season over a portion of the facility. Pollutants have been discharged from [Dairy] to the [Tributary] when a 25 year, 24-hour storm event has not occurred.

5. The [River] and the tributary adjacent to the [Dairy], known as [Tributary], are "waters of the United States" as defined by section 502(7) of the Act, 33 U.S.C. 1362(7), and by EPA regulations, 40 C.F.R. 122.2.

6. [Dairy] is a "concentrated animal feeding operation" as defined at 40 C.F.R. 122.23, and is a point source subject to the NPDES permit program.

7. From [Date] through [Date], [Dairy Owner ]discharged animal wastes from a lagoon at the [Dairy] to the [Tributary]. [Dairy Owner] had not applied for an NPDES permit authorizing such a discharge.

8. [Dairy Owner] is in violation of section 301(a) of the Act by making an unauthorized discharge of pollutants to waters of the United States.


Taking the above findings into consideration, and considering the potential environmental and human health effects of the violation as well as good faith efforts to comply, EPA has determined that compliance in accordance with the following requirements is reasonable. Pursuant to sections 308(a) and 309(a)(3), (a)(4), (a)(5)(A) of the Act, it is hereby ORDERED that:

A. [Dairy Owner] shall:

1. discharge no process waste water pollutants, (including (i) runoff from corrals, stockpiled manure, and silage piles, (ii) overflow from storage ponds, and (iii) runoff from irrigated fields in which waste water is applied at excessive rates which allow runoff of applied waste water to enter waters of the United States) to [Tributary] or other waters of the United States, except when rainfall events cause an overflow of process waste water from a facility designed, constructed, and operated to contain all process generated waste waters plus the runoff from a 25-year, 24-hour rainfall event;

2. discharge no pollutants other than process waste pollutants, at any time;

3. ensure prior to any expansion of the facility (either in size of the facility or number of dairy cattle maintained) that the facility's waste handling procedures and structures are adequate to accommodate any additional wastes generated from such expansion;

4. in order to protect groundwater from nutrient contamination, ensure that process wastewater and manure are not land applied at rates that exceed the recommended agronomic rates for the crop(s) grown on the land application site(s);

5. notify EPA of any discharges of pollutants from [Dairy], by telephone within 24 hours of the discharge and by written report within 5 days of the discharge, which shall describe the discharge, its cause, duration, volume, any samples taken, procedures implemented to prevent its recurrence, and information concerning the size of any associated precipitation event;

6. by October 1, 1999, submit to EPA and to Regional Water Quality Control Board, a plan of work which [Dairy] proposes to perform to prevent further unauthorized discharges and to comply with the Act, including but not limited to applying for an individual NPDES permit or filing a Notice of Intent to be covered under a general permit; providing proper dredging of the lagoon to maintain adequate capacity; implementing an irrigation return flow system to pump excess manure water back to the lagoon, especially from the north side of the property; abandoning the 15 inch discharge pipe from the gate valve to the [Tributary]; repairing the vent pipe that allows irrigation water to enter the [Tributary]; and (i) a schedule for implementing the plan within 3 months, or (ii) information showing that implementation within 3 months is impracticable, and a schedule for implementing the plan as quickly as practicable; and

7. after approval of the plan by EPA, implement the plan as approved. 

B. All reports submitted pursuant to this order shall be signed by [Dairy Owner] and shall include the following statement:

I certify under the penalty of law that this document and all attachments were prepared under my direction or supervision in accordance with a system designed to assure that qualified personnel properly gather and evaluate the information submitted. Based on my inquiry of the person or persons who manage the system, or those persons directly responsible for gathering the information, I certify that the information submitted is, to the best of my knowledge and belief, true, accurate, and complete. I am aware that there are significant penalties for submitting false information, including the possibility of fine and imprisonment for knowing violations.
C. All submissions shall be mailed to: 
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 9
75 Hawthorne Street
San Francisco, California 94105
ATTN:[EPA Dairy Inspector]
D. EPA reserves the right to seek all remedies available under the Act for any violation cited in these findings and order. Issuance of these findings and order is not an election by EPA to forego any further administrative, civil, or criminal action to seek penalties, fines, or other appropriate relief under the Act. These findings and order are not an NPDES permit under section 402 of the Act, nor do they relieve [Dairy Owner] of obligations imposed by the Act, or any Federal or State law.

E. Failure to comply with this order or the Act may result in civil penalties of up to $27,500 per day for each violation pursuant to section 309 of the Act, and ineligibility for contracts, grants or loans pursuant to 40 CFR Part 15.

F. This order shall take effect upon signature.

_______________  Date  _________________________ Director Water Division

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