Farm to Pay Fine, Restore Creek in CWA Action

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has signed an agreement with Muranaka Farms, Inc., requiring the Moorpark, Calif., firm to pay a fine of $75,000 for discharging dredged or fill materials into the Calleguas Creek without a Clean Water Act permit, according to a Jan. 8 press release.

This agreement, together with successful restoration of the damaged site, will allow Muranaka Farms, Inc. to come into compliance with the Clean Water Act,” said Alexis Strauss, director of the EPA’s Water Division for the Pacific Southwest. “We at EPA will continue to focus on restoration of Calleguas Creek and protection of our coastal environment.”

Between February and September 2005, Muranaka Farms, Inc. constructed a berm and agricultural field within and adjacent to Calleguas Creek at a farm located at 11018 E. Los Angeles Ave. in Moorpark. The Clean Water Act prohibits the placement of dredged or fill materials into rivers, tributary streams, and other waters of the United States without a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

EPA issued an administrative order on Nov. 7, 2007, requiring Muranaka Farms, Inc. to restore the area that it cleared and graded, which resulted in the unauthorized discharges into Calleguas Creek in Ventura County, Calif. To date, Muranaka Farms, Inc. has complied with the order and has submitted a plan to restore nearly 18 acres in Calleguas Creek to be implemented later this year.

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