North Carolina farmer sentenced for dumping cow feces

(WLOS)

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — An Asheville farm owner was sentenced after pleading guilty to discharging cattle waste into the French Broad River.

WLOS reported that Michael Crowell, the owner of Crowell Farms, was sentenced by a federal judge to six months of house arrest, three years of probation and to pay $10,000 in fines.

He pleaded guilty to one count of criminal violation of the Clean Water Act in November 2016.

Crowell had installed bypasses to the farm’s waste lagoons around November 2015 through at least December 2015, which discharged animal waste into a tributary of the French Broad River without a permit, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Documents indicated Crowell installed the bypasses because he had trouble managing Crowell Farms’ waste management system and had told inspectors he was aware he had done “the wrong thing.”

Crowell Farms was ordered to pay an additional $40,000 in fines, offset by any fines paid to the State of North Carolina, and to serve a three-year term of probation during which it will have to abide by an environmental compliance program.