FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                         ENR
TUESDAY, JULY 16, 1996                             (202) 616-2771
                                               TDD (202) 514-1888

WASHINGTON, D.C. --  A subsidiary of Dean Foods Company, a
national foods corporation, was fined $4 million for nearly 2,000
Clean Water Act violations at its facility in Belleville,
Pennsylvania, the United States announced today.  This judgment
marks the largest Clean Water Act penalty the United States has
ever won in case that has gone to trial. 

     Dean Dairy Products Inc., a subsidiary of Dean Foods
Company, a national food processing corporation, of Franklin
Park, Illinois, was fined $4,031,000 for repeatedly discharging
milk solids and other pollutants to the Union Township Publicly
Owned Treatment Works, damaging the Kishacoquillas Creek.  The
decision followed a January 1996 trial which was held to
determine the penalty Dean Dairy would have to pay.  In July of
1995, the Court found that Dean committed 1,833 violations of the
Clean Water Act.  

     Chief Judge Sylvia H. Rambo of the United States District
Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, in Harrisburg,
imposed the civil fine against Dean Dairy Products.

     In order to comply with the Clean Water Act and reduce its
discharge levels, Dean Dairy would have had to either reduce its
production output or pretreat its wastewater before discharging
it to the Union Township POTW.  Dean did neither for a period of
six years, and reaped profits of over $2 million as a result. 
The Court found that the profits Dean gained by failing to reduce
its production capacity of milk products to a level that would
meet its industrial user permit limits were the "economic
benefit" gained from its violations.

     The pollution discharged by the dairy interfered with the
operation of the POTW, causing the POTW to discharge pollutants
which harmed the Belleville portion of the Kishacoquillas Creek,
forcing the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission to cease
stocking the stream with trout.  The area of Central Pennsylvania
where Belleville is located is a primarily rural area known for 

its picturesque scenery, its agricultural way of life, and 
recreational opportunities.  Trout fishing in particular, is a
significant recreational activity and source of tourism income in
the Kishacoquillas Valley.

     The court held that Dean's six year delay in adequately
addressing the violations was motivated by the prospect of higher
profits it could earn from keeping production levels high for as
long as possible.  The opinion stated that Dean's Fairmont plant
"chose not to reduce production volume because it viewed the
[accompanying] reduction in earnings as too high a price to pay
for compliance with the Clean Water Act."  

     "Those who put profit before the law and the health of our
environment will pay the price," said Lois J. Schiffer, Assistant
Attorney General in charge of the Justice Department's
Environment and Natural Resources Division.  "This judgment sends
the message that reckless disregard for the Clean Water Act and
its permit requirements will not be tolerated."

     "This case should send a clear signal to water polluters to
clean up their act and comply with their discharge permits", said
W. Michael McCabe, EPA's Regional Administrator.  "The EPA and
the Department of Justice will use all legal tools at our
disposal -- administrative, civil, and criminal -- to insure
strict and prompt compliance with the law."
     David M. Barasch, United States Attorney for the Middle
District of Pennsylvania, noted that the Court's judgment looked
to the parent corporation, Dean Foods Company, in evaluating the
amount of the penalty because Dean Foods was so closely
interconnected with the Fairmont plant in Belleville.  "The Court
sent a clear message that a parent corporation should not profit
from one of its subsidiary's violations of this nation's
environmental laws."  U.S. Attorney Barasch also noted that
"Pennsylvania is blessed with magnificent natural resources for
all to enjoy.  Those resources must not be jeopardized by the
flaunting of environmental laws which are designed to protect 
those invaluable natural resources."

     Lynn Dodge, from the United States Department of Justice's
Environmental Enforcement Section, Robert R. Long from the United
States' Attorneys Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania,
and Joyce Howell from the Environmental Protection Agency's
Region III office tried this case on behalf of the United States.