Farm owner who dumped cow feces into French Broad River sentenced

ASHEVILLE, NC (WSPA) – A farm owner was sentenced after he pleaded guilty to dumping liquid animal waste into a tributary of the French Broad River.

65-year-old Michael Alexander Crowell was sentenced by US District Judge Martin Reidinger to six months of house arrest during three years of probation. He will also be forced to pay a $10,000 fine.

His farm, Crowell Farms, Inc., was also ordered to pay $40,000 in fines and will serve three years of probation while it is required to abide by an environmental compliance program.

According to the US Attorney’s Office, Crowell installed bypasses at the farm’s waste lagoons, which held cow feces, and began discharging liquid waste into a tributary of the French Broad River.

In November of 2016, Crowell and his farm pleaded guilty to one count of Criminal Violation of the Clean Water Act.

Crowell had told inspectors that he was aware that he had done “the wrong thing.”

Crowell Farms is a beef cattle farm which has more than 150 cows and manages over 200 acres of fields.

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