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3 /19/03

Contact: Amy Cradic,

DEP Fines Farmland Dairies for Water Pollution Violations Impacting the Saddle River

(03/34) Trenton— New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today announced that Farmland Dairies located in Wallington, Bergen County, was fined $60,000 for nine unauthorized pollutant discharges into the Saddle River and 14 violations of their Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan.

“New Jersey’s residents should not be forced to shoulder the burden of polluted waterways when companies like Farmland Dairies fail to comply with environmental laws and take appropriate protective measures when handling contaminants,” said DEP Commissioner Campbell. “Safeguarding public health and protecting the environment must be a top priority for all entities that choose to do business in our state.”

A milk and dairy product processing and packaging plant, Farmland Dairies was cited by the DEP for violations of New Jersey's Water Pollution Control Act, the facility's Discharge to Surface Water Permit and its Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan. Farmland Dairies’ DEP-issued permit allows only the discharge of clean stormwater from the property that has not contacted any industrial source materials.

During a DEP site visit conducted at Farmland Dairies on September 6, 2001, nine violations of unpermitted discharges to surface and groundwater were found. The DEP inspector identified numerous uncovered dumpsters leaking odorous unknown liquids to unpaved ground areas, a pothole filled with a oily, milky liquid located behind a truck garage near a stormwater catch basin, a trailer containing damaged cartons and loose containers of liquid product, and spilled containers located on unpaved areas.

In addition to discharge violations, Farmland Dairies was issued 14 violations of its permit, Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan and Best Management Practices for failing to ensure that source materials are properly handled and have no exposure to stormwater, which ultimately discharges into the Saddle River.

During the site visit, the DEP inspector identified:

  • Plastic drums of Glycol (a chemical pollutant) located on the parking area without cover or containment;
  • Ten 55-gallon drums, three of which were badly rusted and two five-gallon pails with an unknown liquid;
  • Large piles of broken macadam, concrete, stone, debris, and scrap metal;
  • Fifty or more metal and plastic 55-gallon drums;
  • Heavily rusted gas cylinders located near a well - no markings visible;
  • Ten or more truck refrigeration units located outside the rear of the garage;
  • Four large square non-reusable containers, one containing unknown liquid;
  • A drum of transmission fluid outside the garage without containment or cover;
  • A 55-gallon metal drum marked waste oil that was partially filled with what appeared to be rain water;
  • Five large square poly containers inside metal mesh units labeled Sulfuric Acid with no containment or cover;
  • Approximately six drums labeled Sodium Hypochlorite near the water softener building; and
  • Twenty or more plastic drums labeled Caustic Cleaner/Bleach and Acid Cleaner as well as empty drums that contained vanilla with no cover or containment provided.

A DEP Administrative Order and Notice of Civil Administrative Penalty Assessment was issued to Farmland Dairies in the amount of $60,000 on January 27, 2003. Farmland Dairies has requested a hearing.

New Jersey's stormwater permitting program relies primarily on pollution prevention through the development, implementation, and maintenance of Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans. These plans stress the development of reasonable and cost effective Best Management Practices (BMPs) that eliminate or minimize the contact between source materials and stormwater.

NOTE: A copy of the DEP's Administrative Order and Notice of Civil Administrative Penalty Assessment that was issued to Farmland Dairies is available upon request.


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