Winston-Salem, N.C. — A federal judge on Tuesday fined House of Raeford Farms Inc. $150,000 for illegally dumping untreated waste from its Hoke County poultry slaughtering and processing plant into the local water treatment system.
A jury last August found the company guilty of 10 counts of Clean Water Act violations.
House of Raeford repeatedly allowed employees to send untreated wastewater directly to the city of Raeford’s wastewater treatment plant, bypassing the facility’s pretreatment system, between February 2005 and August 2006, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors said the untreated wastewater from the House of Raeford plant overwhelmed the treatment plant's capacity, meaning it couldn't properly treat wastewater before discharging it into Rockfish Creek.
A number of the bypasses, which occurred when the House of Raeford plant produced more wastewater than its treatment system could handle, were recorded in log books kept by employees but were never revealed to the city, prosecutors said.
The federal jury acquitted the plant manager of 14 charges in the case.