CA marijuana grower fined $300K-plus for failing to clean up runoff into river

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Northern California water regulators fined a marijuana grower more than $300,000 for failing to clean up runoff into a river.

The North Coast Regional Water Control Board fined Humboldt County cultivator Szagora for not cleaning up and abating sediment discharges into Mad River tributaries, according to a news release.

Szagora grew cannabis on a 100-acre farm along the border of Humboldt and Trinity counties.

The board said the company failed to respond to an enforcement order to maintain an access road to protect water quality and use, which could harm local fish populations.

After Szagora officials failed to appear at a public hearing, the board set a higher fine because the grower was unresponsive.

The fine was raised by more than 40% to $301,950.

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“The cultivator made no effort to comply with water quality protection standards and this constitutes intentional misconduct,” Gregory Giusti, chair of the North Coast Regional Water Control Board, said in a statement.

On top of paying the fine, Szagora is still expected to fix the road and failed stream crossings.