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FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (AP) - Synagro LLC has agreed to pay a civil fine and make improvements to resolve sewage sludge violations in three Virginia counties.

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality cited Synagro for improper storage and handling of treated sewage sludge on farms in Fauquier, Essex and Goochland counties. The violations involved water containing sludge running off the farms into nearby streams.

The Free Lance-Star reports that the department proposed a $65,000 fine. According to a proposed consent, Synagro would pay $16,250 of the fine and complete a supplemental environmental project in lieu of the remaining $48,750.

The environmental project is designed to prevent excess nitrogen in treated sludge from running off farm fields into the Chesapeake Bay.

Public comment on the proposed consent order will be accepted through March 29.

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