On December 24, dairy farm Big Island Dairy illegally discharged 600,000 gallons of toxic animal waste into the coastal waters through the Kaohaoha Gulch in Hawaii. The state health department issued a warning to residents to avoid the Gulch as it contained toxic levels of sewage. In May, the 1,800-cow operation discharged 2.3 million gallons of waste followed by another dump of 5.6 million gallons of waste in August, resulting in a $25,000 fine for polluting local waterways. Residents in Ookala filed a lawsuit in 2017 against the dairy farm for liquid manure, cattle urine, and other toxic substances it discharged into three ravines that empty into the Pacific Ocean. After mounting pressure from the community for continuing to disregard the federal Clean Water Act, Big Island Dairy announced in November that it would cease operations by February—but not before further polluting the surrounding community.
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