Cumberland Times-News

Latest news

July 31, 2013

State regulators, wastewater disposal company reach deal on discharge

Mexico Farms, LLC will build new treatment facilities

CUMBERLAND — A long battle between state environmental regulators and a local wastewater disposal company has been worked out, said Casper Taylor Jr., whose firm represents Mexico Farms, LLC.

Mexico Farms will shell out a significant amount of money as part of the agreement, to install new wastewater treatment facilties that will meet the demands of regulators. The cost of those facilities will total as much as $9.5 million, Taylor said.

“All those good jobs are going to be saved,” Taylor said Wednesday.

Lawyers in the same firm, Alexander & Cleaver, helped negotiate the deal between the company and state regulators. The consent decree will be filed in Allegany County Circuit Court, where state regulators recently filed for an injunction against the company.

“In the interests of avoiding further litigation of this matter, the parties have reached agreement as to terms of settlement,” the decree reads.

Mexico Farms and an associated company have a major economic impact on the area, Taylor said.

Mexico Farms processes wastewater for Fibred, a soybean processing and manufacturing operation. Fibred was not targeted in the Maryland Department of the Environment actions against Mexico Farms.  

Without any way to dispose of wastewater, Fibred might have been faced with shutting down operations. Fibred is mentioned in the consent decree and required to limit the amount of water it discharges annually to Mexico Farms until the new treatment plant is in operation.

 The two companies employ about 35 people, with a payroll of more than $1.7 million. The company also covers employees’ health insurance deductibles and pays about 70 percent of health insurance costs. The Fibred company has sales in the United States of more than $7 million annually, Taylor said.

The dispute centered around allegations that Mexico Farms was dumping wastewater without a permit and continuing a series of environmental violations. The state had filed in Allegany County Circuit Court on July 19 for an injunction and fines in the amount of $500,000.

Last year, an Allegany County Circuit Court judge upheld enforcement actions by the state against the local wastewater processing company but tossed out a $50,000 fine by an administrative law judge for pollution law violations.

The new treatment plant is to be operational by March 30, 2015, according to the agreement. The lagoons will cease operations and be cleaned out during 2014-15, according to the language of the decree. Mexico Farms agreed to provide monthly progress reports to MDE.

Fibred was founded by the late Lewis J. Ort, who transformed a family bakery into a nationwide operation. Ort knew dietary fiber could improve health and began the Fibred Co. as a way to provide food-grade fiber.

Contact Matthew Bieniek at mbieniek@times-news.com.

1
Text Only
Latest news
  • Puff & Stuff owners agree to settlement in federal court

    CUMBERLAND — The owners of Puff & Stuff stores in Cumberland and LaVale agreed to forfeit $173,988 to settle claims that they sold synethic drugs at their stores.

    April 23, 2014

  • Orndorff.jpg Hampshire man sentenced to 40 years plus in child death

    ROMNEY, W.Va. – Hampshire County Circuit Court Judge H. Charles Carl III sentenced Cory A. Orndorff, 23, of Green Spring on Wednesday to 40 years for one count of child abuse resulting in the death of an 18-month-old child

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wills Mountain wild fire 70 percent contained

    CENTERVILLE, Pa. — Fire on Wills Mountain that began Saturday reportedly covered more than 800 acres by Wednesday morning and was 70 percent contained, according to a public information officer with the Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry.

    April 23, 2014

  • 10 things to know for today

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:
     

    April 23, 2014

  • West Virginia flags lowered for former congressman

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — State and U.S. flags at state facilities are at half-staff in honor of former Rep. Mick Staton.
    Staton died April 14. He was 74.
     

    April 23, 2014

  • Truck catches fire on city bridge

    CUMBERLAND — Cumberland firefighters doused a pickup truck fire on the Baltimore Street bridge spanning Wills Creek about 11 a.m. Tuesday, but not before it destroyed the engine compartment and damaged the passenger area of the Chevrolet.

    April 22, 2014

  • Carbon monoxide causes evacuation at Ramada

    CUMBERLAND — High carbon monoxide readings at the Ramada Inn on George Street resulted in the evacuation of the first floor at midday Tuesday and caused a senior citizen prom to be moved elsewhere.

    April 22, 2014

  • picketing 2-1.jpg Workers begin picketing outside WV Schools for Deaf and Blind

    ROMNEY, W.Va. – Child care workers and union reps began picketing outside the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind Tuesday morning.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Romney firefighters get federal grant

    ROMNEY, W.Va. — The Romney Fire Company will receive $67,925 in funding through the Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program.

    April 22, 2014

  • Sgt. Walter May.jpg Sgt. Walt May earns Award of Merit

    CUMBERLAND — The Maryland Natural Resources Police honored Sgt. Walt May of Westernport during its annual awards ceremony held last week at Chesapeake College.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

Facebook
Must Read
House Ads
NDN Video
NDN Video