The New Mexico Environment Department has charged a Clovis cattle trailer washout facility with violating the state Water Quality Act and charged it a $483,994 fine.
NMED Communications Director Jon Goldstein said Bigger and Better Septic Tanks of Clovis dumped wastewater and contaminated water from its trailer washout facility into unlined lagoons.
Darin Bare of Bigger and Better Septic Tanks said the company plans to appeal the decision at a hearing before the Environment Department’s Ground Water Quality Bureau.
“They had a permit that stated solid waste from the cattle trailers should be separated from the liquid waste and the liquids should be applied to a crop to limit the amount of nitrogen that got into the ground water. They didn’t plant a crop and the trenches where they deposited the liquid were unlined,” Goldstein said.
“The permit was issued in December 2000 and two notices of violation were issued in October and December 2002,” he added.
Goldstein said the $483,994 fine was because the Environment Department considers Bigger and Better Septic Tanks’ action a severe violation.
“It could be mitigated. If they are willing to submit financial records, we could do an ability to pay analysis,” he said.