For six decades, E. & J. Gallo Winery has discharged winery waste from its Fresno Winery to its property near Olive and Clovis avenues. The waste contains high concentrations of nitrogen and salt. Despite being regulated by the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board, Gallo’s discharge has caused groundwater to contain nitrate and salt in excess of drinking water standards, and at times caused nuisance odors. To its credit, Gallo now treats most of its winery waste prior to discharging it to the Fresno-Clovis Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility. However, because Gallo lacks sufficient treatment capacity, it continues to discharge treated and untreated winery waste to land, although at lower rates than currently authorized.
The Board is updating its 1994 waste discharge requirements order for Gallo, and posted its tentative order on its website with a March 9 comment deadline. It proposes to allow Gallo to continue discharging high-strength winery waste to land, even though its discharge has polluted groundwater with nitrate and threatens to cause nuisance odors that could spoil the ambiance of the proposed Fancher Creek Town Center.
Concerned? Check it out and submit your comments to the Board by March 9.
Jo Anne Kipps