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Last updateWed, 27 Dec 2017 12am

Trial begins in Oliff lawsuit against Westmoreland deputy 

The trial of two lawsuits filed by Montross restaurant owner Bryan Oliff and one of his employees, J...

Monroe: Plans call for building new scenic trail

Monroe: Plans call for building new scenic trail

Former President James Monroe’s birthday was Tuesday, April 28.
Westmoreland County is honoring its n...

Early morning drug raids net 11 suspects in Westmoreland

A six-month undercover investigation by the Tri-County Drug Task Force resulted in two recent early ...

Westmoreland State Park becoming a go-to destination

Westmoreland State Park becoming a go-to destination

Majestic Westmoreland State Park, located on the Potomac River between George Washington’s birthplac...

Westmoreland County School Board searching for new superintendent

The Westmoreland County School Board recently held a public hearing to collect residents’  comments ...

Alpacas flourishing in Montross

Alpacas flourishing in Montross

When Ken Chatham first talked with his wife, Gwynne, about his idea of raising alpacas, she was skep...

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Omega Protein fined for CWA violations

U.S. District Judge Raymond Jackson has fined Omega Protein, Inc., a Texas firm that operates a large fish processing facility in Reedsville, $7.5 million and placed the firm on three years probation following Omega Protein’s criminal conviction for two violations of the Clean Water Act.

“Omega Protein’s conduct both harmed our environment and violated federal law,” said Neil McBride, U. S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. In announcing the fine in Norfolk, McBride said the fine and

probation “reflect the seriousness of these charges and our commitment to protect the waterways.”

Omega Protein, Inc. is a publicly traded company and is one of the world’s leading producers of fish oil and the nation’s largest producer of fish meal. Omega Protein gets its products by processing menhaden -- small, oily, Omega 3 rich fish that are primarily found off the East Coast of Virginia.

According to court documents, Omega Protein violated the Clean Water Act from May 2008 through September 2010 by allowing its Reedville-based fishing fleet to discharge fish waste combined with water and pollutants into the Chesapeake Bay. By law, that kind of waste discharge, called “bail,” is only permitted when vessels are more than three miles off shore in the Atlantic.

Responding to the fine and probation, the company issued a statement that said “Omega Protein, Inc. is committed to ensuring that we operate in compliance with federal and state environmental requirements.

“The company has expended significant resources to strengthen its environmental compliance systems across its operations,” Bret Scholtes, the Company’s Chief Executive Officer, said. “We are committed to being a responsible corporate citizen and protecting the ocean waters upon which we all rely.”

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Executive Director, Ann Jennings, said, “It is troubling that Virginia’s largest harvester of fish would be convicted of serious clean water law violations. Few industries are more dependent on the bay than our fishing industry, and such criminal violations harm the people, businesses and localities that depend upon clean water for their livelihoods.”

 

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