Napa Winery Fined Half Million for Breaking Enviornmental Policy
In the settlement, the Palmazes agreed to pay a $375,000 civil penalty to the county for violating stream setback and other laws; $130,000 to the Napa County Fish & Wildlife Propagation Fund, $15,000 to the Department of Fish and Game and $30,000 to the State Fish and Game Preservation Fund.
Napa County Counsel Robert Westmeyer said, “This resolution is in the best interests of all concerned. The alternative would have involved years of protracted and expensive litigation, with no guarantees as to the outcome.”
In addition to the financial penalties, the settlement:
- Orders the Palmazes to restore a natural spring; plant willow, bay and live oak trees along a stretch of Hagen Creek where vegetation was cut back; and remove approximately 750 vines from areas protected by stream setback regulations;
- Prohibits the Palmazes from engaging in any future activities that would violate the county’s soil erosion control, stream setback and grading ordinances;
- Prohibits the Palmazes from violating Fish and Game regulations protecting stream beds, banks and channels;
- Places a moratorium on further development on the Palmaz property until the winery conducts and complete a wetlands and watercourse assessment;
- Requires the Palmazes to contact the county if they plan to acquire and develop any other property in unincorporated Napa County.
All in all, the Palmazes estimate that the overall cost to fully resolve the cost will be around $1.25 million. This is a hefty price for planting 750 vines. With the amount of money in grape growing and winemaking, it’s important for stiff regulations to protect the environment.