Evangeline Enterprises of Carencro has agreed to pay civil penalties and make changes to its operations in a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The racehorse training-center operator, located in Carencro, has agreed to pay $300,000 in civil penalties and to make changes in its handling of polluted wastewater at its Louisiana facility to settle Clean Water Act claims filed by the EPA and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality.
The settlement, contained in a proposed consent decree lodged today with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, resolves claims by EPA and DEQ in a complaint filed in October 2017.
The complaint alleged that Evangeline is illegally discharging process wastewater, contaminated with horse manure, urine, and other biological materials, from its facility into the Vermilion River and its tributary Francois Coulee, in violation of the Clean Water Act and the Louisiana Environmental Quality Act.
Under the Clean Water Act, facilities like Evangeline’s that house more than 150 horses at least 45 days in a 12-month period and discharge pollutants must obtain a permit and comply with rules. Those rules require the operators to make sure that pollutants, including contaminated process wastewater, are not discharged into the water.
Evangeline discharged process wastewater into drainage ditches and pipes at the facility that then flowed into the Francois Coulee and Vermilion River. To correct this, the retention control structure required under the settlement agreement will store all process wastewater at the facility and allow it to be routed for proper treatment. That will stop the unauthorized discharges to the Francois Coulee and Vermilion River.
Under the settlement, Evangeline will pay the civil penalties and get a permit and follow the rules. They’ve promised to build the right equipment to process their wastewater. If the company closes the facility, there were other promises made that would stop any further discharges.
The proposed consent decree is subject to a 30-day federal public comment period, a 45-day Louisiana public comment period, and final court review and approval. A copy of the consent decree is available on the Department of Justice website at www.justice.gov/enrd/Consent_Decrees.html.
For more information on the settlement, visit the EPA’s website at: www.epa.gov/enforcement/evangeline-enterprises-llc-settlement-information-sheet.