BRAWLEY – On April 11, the California Regional Water Quality Control Board (CRWQCB) of the Colorado River Basin Region imposed a fine of $3.75 million on National Beef California, LP for their National Beef waste water treatment facility violations.
National Beef, a subsidiary of Leucadia National Corporation, discharges its waste water into the City of Brawley’s Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP), which in turn is discharged into the New River and the Salton Sea. Both are considered Impaired Waters. The New River is impaired by toxicity, with ammonia being the main pollutant.
National Beef discharged pollutants such as ammonia, total suspended solids, biochemical oxygen demands, and bacteria into the Brawley WWTP in an alleged violation of the National Pretreatment Standards.
As a result, the CRWQCB has imposed this fine of $3.75 million, which is assessed by the Assistant Executive Officer.
A similar fine was imposed on the City of Brawley last year totaling just over $1 million. The fine was for discharged pollutants from National Beef.
In 2011, the City of Brawley issued a Cease & Desist Order to National Beef for their discharge of effluent into their waste water plant.
National Beef has made numerous attempts to remedy their problems in their waste water treatment plant and have been somewhat successful.
National Beef has announced the closing of their Brawley beef processing facility on May 23, 2014.
A hearing is scheduled on June 19, 2014 before the Regional Board.
National Beef is expected to appeal this imposed fine.