- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 22, 2014

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - A manure spill that led to a week-long closure of shellfish harvesting landed a Whatcom County dairy a fine of $6,000.

The Department of Agriculture reports it cited Pomeroy Dairy in Custer for the October 2013 spill that raised fecal coliform levels in nearby California Creek. The department says the dairy worked to contain the spill, but did not report it immediately.

State investigators say the spill was caused by a malfunctioning valve operating the manure lagoon. The malfunction sent manure to a pipe that was out of service. An analysis found levels of fecal coliform bacteria at elevated levels as far down as 5 miles downstream. Also found were about 30 dead fish.

The spill caused the closure of shellfish harvesting in Drayton Harbor for a week.

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