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Valley Cheese Factory Fined For Pollution

State water regulators have fined one of the world´s largest cheese factories four million dollars for polluting groundwater.

A Central Valley state water board says the Hilmar Cheese Company illegally flushed waste onto fields in Merced County that polluted water and created a stink for neighbors. The fine came the same day the company´s co-owner resigned as

the state´s number two agriculture official so he could deal with the company´s wastewater problems.

State officials say the fine is the largest of its kind by the board. The penalty accounts for nearly three years of daily water pollution violations. But records show the company has escaped penalties despite more than a dozen years of violations.

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On the Net:

Hilmar Cheese Co.: http://www.hilmarcheese.com/