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CALIFORNIA COMPANY AND MANAGER CONVICTED ON WATER CHARGES
Release Date: 07/08/99
FOR RELEASE: THURSDAY, JULY 8, 1999
CALIFORNIA COMPANY AND MANAGER
CONVICTED ON WATER CHARGES
The Modesto Tallow Co. (MTC), a rendering facility located in Modesto, Calif., and Larry Bietz of Ceres, Calif., both pleaded guilty on June 30, in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California in Fresno to violating the Clean Water Act. MTC admitted to falsifying wastewater monitoring results, tampering with a monitoring device and negligently discharging a pollutant into the Tuolumne River. MTC has agreed to pay a $600,000 fine and reimburse the city of Modesto $37,536 for the cost of response and investigation. Bietz admitted that he and MTC employees under his direction either diluted wastewater analysis samples or regularly falsified analysis results. The agreement calls for Bietz to serve 12 months in prison and pay a fine of $2,500. MTC is in the business of processing animal carcases into tallow, grease, meat, bone and poultry by-products. In the process, MTC generates tens of thousands of gallons of wastewater each day which must be treated on site before being discharged into the Modesto city sewer system. The law requires MTC to monitor the wastewater it discharges by taking and analyzing wastewater samples. In addition to the monitoring offenses, MTC admitted responsibility for a Dec. 27, 1997, discharge of blood and animal wastes into a lagoon that was part of the Tuolumne River. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division with the assistance of EPA’s National Enforcement Investigations Center, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the FBI, the city of Modesto, and is being prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice.