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Nation : Ocean Spray Fined Over Disposal

Associated Press

Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc. pleaded guilty today to 21 misdemeanor charges and was fined $400,000 for dumping refuse into sewers near its fruit-processing plant at Middleboro, Mass.

Under a plea agreement with the U.S. attorney’s office in which more than 50 charges were dropped, the Plymouth-based cooperative also promised to spend $100,000 on waste water treatment equipment.

Ocean Spray had pleaded innocent in February to six felony charges and 72 misdemeanor charges that it released cranberry peelings and acids into municipal sewers and the Nemasket River from 1983 to 1987, despite fines and reprimands from the town.

Ocean Spray had faced up to $2.1 million in fines from the charges. It was the first time the federal government had charged a company with a felony under the Clean Water Act.

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