DEP ISSUES AIR POLLUTION
VIOLATION TO JOHANNA FOODS
(02/57) TRENTON -The Department
of Environmental Protection (DEP) today announced that Johanna Foods, Inc. in
Raritan Township, Hunterdon County, is to immediately terminate further on-site
treatment of food processing waste. Odors caused by malfunctions in its wastewater
treatment plant operations must be dispelled and current air pollution violations
"We have ordered Johanna Foods to quickly
address these releases that present a potential public health risk especially
to persons with respiratory difficulties," said DEP Commissioner Bradley
M. Campbell. "We've received numerous public complaints and the department
is monitoring the situation until the wastewater treatment facility is in working
The air pollution, which occurred between July
9 and July 23, was caused by a malfunction of Johanna Food's wastewater treatment
plant's on-site lagoon. A 10,000 gallon release of highly acidic orange/mango
juice into the lagoon triggered an abrupt change in pH and interrupted the microbes
in the plant's aeration basins, which resulted in inadequate treatment of wastewater
and the release of odors and air contaminants.
to public complaints, the department in cooperation with county officials investigated
and determined that Johanna Foods, Inc. did not comply with applicable air pollution
regulations. Johanna Foods also failed to notify the department immediately of
the environmental and potential public health risk resulting from the malfunctioning
of its treatment facility.
Based on its findings, the department
assessed Johanna Foods, Inc. a civil administrative penalty of $5,500.
copy of the department's Administrative Order and Notice of Civil Administrative
Penalty Assessment issued to Johanna Foods on July 24, 2002 is attached [in print
release version only].