Distillery fined $700,000 over waste dumpingBy Nicola Carruthers
Virginia-based Filibuster Distillery has agreed to pay a US$700,000 penalty for dumping more than 40,000 gallons of industrial waste into a river.
In January this year, Filibuster Distillery was charged with 115 counts of violating environmental state laws after a two-year investigation by Shenandoah County’s fire marshal Dave Ferguson and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).
The charges were given to Filibuster Distillery, Filibuster Barrels, and Filibuster founder Sid Dilawri.
According to Virginia’s office of the attorney general, Filibuster has now pled guilty to 40 counts of violating the State Water Control Law for dumping more than 40,000 gallons of industrial waste and discharging cooling water outside of the terms of the distillery’s permit into a stream in Shenandoah County.
As part of the agreement, Filibuster has agreed to maintain compliance at the distillery and invest in an upgrade of its equipment to prevent future environmental impacts.
The case is the first criminal indictment related to environmental violations brought by the state’s office of the attorney general and the DEQ.
“Filibuster Distillery illegally dumped tens of thousands of gallons of industrial waste into a stream, not only violating state environmental protection laws, but also putting the health of its community at serious risk,” said Virginia attorney general Mark Herring.
“All Virginia businesses both big and small must abide by state and federal environmental protections, and if they fail to do so I will make sure they are held accountable.”
A majority of the US$700,000 fine will be given to the Shenandoah County community through education and infrastructure support.
DEQ director David Paylor added: “DEQ takes our mission to protect the environment very seriously, and this case demonstrates that mission in action. OAG’s [office of the attorney general] prosecution of this case not only led to directing funds back into the impacted community, but sent a strong message that environmental crimes will not be tolerated.”
The Spirits Business has approached Filibuster Distillery for comment.