GOLDSBORO, N.C. (WNCN) – A company was fined a hefty amount after it was busted for a May permit violation relating to waste discharge at a facility in Wayne County, The Division of Water Resources said on Monday. The farm is also facing multiple civil penalties.

White Oak Farms has been hit with more than $34,000 in fines for “violation of permit conditions related to a May 2022 waste discharge at an animal operations facility in Wayne County…[after] a report [and response] to a biogas digester cover rupture.”

According to The Division of Water Resources Regional Office, White Oaks Farms is facing violations for failing to maintain and operate a non-discharge system to prevent discharge to waters of the state, failure to conduct air quality monitoring, failure to demonstrate compliance with nutrient standards for phosphorous, failure to properly operate and maintain collection, treatment and storage units and failure to manage solids, residuals or sludges.

A total of 806,868 gallons of sludge was released, with 10,745 reported to have entered wetlands, The Division of Water Resources said. The division said the rest remained on-site.

“The facility had been permitted since June 2020 to generate biogas in a sealed digester through co-digestion, or combining animal waste and meat byproducts, under an individual permit,” The Division of Water Resources said. “The mixture of materials being fed to the digester prior to the incident was not in compliance with facility’s approved individual permit.”

Furthermore, The Division of Water Resources said White Oaks Farms was made aware of the violation on July 5. It was then updated on Sept. 2.

More information on the issued penalties can be found here.