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Va. fleet assessed $7.5 million in US penalties

Tuesday - 6/4/2013, 4:10pm  ET

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) -- The company that operates the menhaden fishery in the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia has sentenced to $7.5 million in penalties for two violations of the Clean Water Act.

The government says Omega Protein Inc. was also sentenced to three years' probation Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Norfolk.

The U.S. attorney's office says the punishment stems from the operation of its menhaden processing plant in Reedville and the fleet of ships Omega operates from that location.

The violations occurred between May 2008 and September 2010 when the company discharged water mixed with fish waste and pollutants into the Chesapeake Bay.

Omega is a Houston company that operates the so-called reduction fishery in Reedville. It processes an oily fish called menhaden that is used in fish oil and other products.

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