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Illinois-based food processing company Avanti Foods Co. has paid a $39,000 fine for illegally discharging dairy waste and causing water pollution, as part of a settlement the company reached with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA).

The violations of the state's environmental protection laws were detected during an inspection at the Avanti Foods processing facility in Bureau County in November 2011. While they were inspecting the plant, IEPA officials noticed dairy waste being discharged from a tank truck. Officials issued a violation notice to the company after the incident and another inspection followed in March 2012, when additional violations were detected, including evidence that Avanti Foods had been disposing of dairy waste directly into the sewer system through floor drains and sewer inlets.

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The breaches noticed during the second inspection led to a lawsuit against the company but it was resolved when the IEPA and Avanti entered an agreement. Under the terms of this agreement the food processing company will have to pay a civil penalty and apply for a permit to discharge its wastewater into the community's sewer system, Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced in a statement. The agreement guarantees that the company is held responsible for putting the community's health and safety at risk and ensures that it will be in compliance with the state's environmental protection laws, she commented.