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Press Release

Louisiana company to pay $1.2 million for discharge of pollutants into the Vermilion River

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Louisiana

SHREVEPORT, La. United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced that a dietary supplement company must pay $1.2 million for illegally discharging pollutants into the Vermilion River.


Omega Protein Inc. was sentenced last week by U.S. District Judge Donald E. Walter for two counts of unlawful discharge of a pollutant into a water of the United States. Company representative John D. Held was present on the company’s behalf at the hearing. The company pleaded guilty and was sentenced Wednesday, January 18, 2017. Omega will pay a $1 million fine to the United States and $200,000 community service fee will be paid to the Louisiana State Police Emergency Service Unit. The company was also placed on probation for three years. Omega is a corporation located in Louisiana and incorporated under the laws of Virginia. According to evidence presented at the hearing, on December 8, 2014 and February 1, 2016, a manager at the Abbeville Omega plant directed employees to place a hose in a treatment pond and drain polluted water into a canal that emptied into the Vermilion River.


The criminal investigation divisions of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Louisiana State Police conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert C. Abendroth prosecuted the case.

Updated January 24, 2017