Oregon ‘Mega-Dairy’ Faces 224 Violations and $187K in Fines

Oregon regulators have fined Lost Valley Farm, the state’s second-largest dairy, $187,320 for 224 violations of its wastewater permit. ( Mike Opperman )

Oregon regulators have fined Lost Valley Farm, the state’s second-largest dairy, $187,320 for 224 violations of its wastewater permit, according to Statesman Journal.

Announcing the news via Twitter, this is the largest fine the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) has ever imposed on a dairy or other confined animal operation.

However, this is not the first fine the ODA has presented Greg te Velde, the owner of Lost Valley Farm. A $10,640 fine was also announced in January but has remained unpaid.

While the document specifically names te Velde as the receiver of the fine, the amount due will become part of his bankruptcy estate, said Andrea Cantu-Schomus, an agriculture department spokeswoman.

On top of numerous fines accumulated during the past two years, te Velde has spent roughly $700,000 trying to comply with the legal settlement, according to Elizabeth Howard, his attorney. This is in addition to the $60 million loan te Velde took from Rabobank to build Lost Valley Farm.

Due to the amount of violations met without results, the state invalidated Lost Valley’s waste management permit on June 27. Te Velde pushed to keep his operation running despite losing this permit, however, Judge Fredrick Clement made the decision to hand the dairy over to an appointed trustee in order for it to continue to operate. A trustee has not yet been appointed.

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