The owner of Moon Glow Dairy in Monterey County has agreed to pay more than $33,000 in civil penalties and costs in settling a civil environmental protection case, Monterey County District Attorney Jeannine Pacioni announced Feb. 8.

Louis Calcagno, the owner of Moon Glow Dairy, stores green waste consisting primarily of material derived from apple pulp to use as feed for his dairy cows, according to the district attorney’s office.

Calcagno also owns and maintains an agricultural drainage canal and pump that is next to the Moro Cojo Slough, a marine protected area and a state marine reserve.

During a two-day period, some of the green waste stored by Calcagno spilled into the runoff water in an agricultural drainage canal and was pumped into the slough, prosecutors said.

Testing of water containing this green waste found it contained levels of unionized ammonia that is harmful to fish, plants, mammals and birds.

Prosecutors said Calcagno cooperated in resolving the case and that there was no evidence of any intentional misconduct on his part, as he took prompt action to stop the discharge after learning of the problem.

He also spent approximately $25,000 for improvements and repairs to prevent future occurrences, and he agreed to pay an additional $19,500 in administrative penalties to the Central Coast Water Board.

Prosecutors said they received input from several scientists who monitor the slough, and it appears there is no measurable impact on the environment.

Included in the $33,000 in penalties was $5,000 that will go toward a supplemental environment project to benefit the Moro Cojo Slough. The terms of the judgment also provided for a permanent injunction.

Story originally published by Bay City News.