From the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality press release:
Smith Frozen Foods Inc., a food processor operating in the Umatilla County community of Weston, has paid a $3,900 Oregon Department of Environmental Quality penalty for discharging wastewater from its processing facility to nearby Pine Creek without a waste discharge permit. The company’s Water Pollution Control Facilities Permit specifically prohibits discharge of process wastewater to state waters.
On July 29, 2008, Smith Frozen Foods contacted the DEQ office in Pendleton and reported that process wastewater had infiltrated into the facility’s storm water system and resulted in a milky discharge to Pine Creek. The company added that residual groundwater drainage in the storm water system had been diverted to the process wastewater ponds and portable pumps had been placed in Pine Creek to remove contaminated water.
Improper discharge of process wastewater can harm aquatic life, contaminate drinking water and impair recreational, commercial and agricultural uses of water. Corn processing wastewater is high in oxygen-consuming material and high in total suspended solids, which, among other things, can harm fish and other aquatic life by reducing the amount of dissolved oxygen. Corn processing wastewater can also be low in acidity (pH). When the pH of water is decreased or increased, fish and other aquatic species are at risk of harm.