The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board announced fines for three Northern California landowners Thursday over infractions at two unrelated Shasta County marijuana growing operations.
Teng Vang, 41, of Sacramento was fined $83,187 for failing to maintain a marijuana growing site on his Shasta County property, according to a news release issued by the board.
Vang had been notified nearly two years ago by board inspectors of water quality problems at his site, including grading and constructing stream crossings and access roads without the necessary permits, which resulted in sediment discharges, according to the release.
These discharges posed a risk to tributaries to Ducket Creek and North Fork Cottonwood Creek, which support salmon, according to the release.
Vang also built a surface water diversion without a permit to irrigate his crops, according to the release.
“The penalty reflects the serious nature of these violations and the importance of holding landowners accountable for such activities,” said the board’s assistant executive officer, Clint Snyder. “Had Mr. Vang worked with our staff and complied with the Cleanup and Abatement Order, impacts to water quality and the subsequent enforcement actions could have been avoided.”
Kongkeo Khamvongsa of Wisconsin and Alexandra Kensavath of Fresno were fined $150,000 for failure to maintain a Shasta County marijuana growing site they own, according to a separate news release issued by the board.
Khamvongsa and Kensavath were notified of issues at their site more than two years ago, when inspectors found an unpermitted earthen dam and 2.6 acres of gradation, according to the release.
These actions may have discharged waste to tributary streams to North Fork Cottonwood Creek and Fidler Creek, which also supports salmon, according to the release.
“State and Regional Water Board staff and legal counsel, in conjunction with their colleagues at the Department of Fish and Wildlife, have gone to great lengths to hold Mr. Khamvongsa and Ms. Kensavath accountable for their actions,” Snyder said.