Federal prosecutors say the owners of the horse racing track in New Orleans have agreed to pay a $2.8 million penalty for letting horse manure and urine into the city’s drainage system

The U.S. Justice Department described the fine to be paid by Churchill Downs Inc., owner of the Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, as the largest ever paid by a “concentrated animal feeding” operation under the Clean Water Act, news outlets reported.

The agreement settles a federal complaint alleging that the Fair Grounds violated that law and the track’s state permit more than 250 times between 2012 and 2018.

“This consent decree will stop the flow of untreated process wastewater into the local sewer system, which leads to local waters used for fishing and ultimately Lake Pontchartrain, in a way that recognizes the challenges presented by the racetrack’s urban location.” said Jonathan Brightbill, principal deputy assistant attorney general in the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, said Tuesday in a news release.

Churchill Downs, based in Louisville, Kentucky, said it has worked with federal, state and local environmental agencies to find ways to deal with wastewater and stormwater at the New Orleans track. It “has agreed to meaningful measures, including $5.6 million of capital improvements over the next three years, to address the conditions and obligations under the consent decree,” the company told The Times-Picayune / The New Orleans Advocate.

Neighborhoods the government considers environmental justice communities surround the

ian busking

Busking has dropped his time significantly from his personal record last year, moving him up to the third position on the team. ART HADDAWAY/Owasso Reporter

Ian Busking’s time on the track this year has been nothing but impressive.

The Owasso junior has dropped his time significantly from his personal record last year, moving him up to the third position on the team.

“He’s one of our best runners,” cross country head coach Blake Collins said. “He takes that initiative all the time to try to figure out how to be better at what he’s doing and help the team.”

Busking, who shifted his PR from 19:01 to 17:52, said he has be intentional about monitoring his daily regiments and maintaining healthy eating habits to achieve his goal of reaching better overall times.

“A lot of it, it has been through the amount of sleep I’ve been getting and everything that I’ve ate, and I’ve drank a lot more water,” Busking said, “and you just have to put so much more time into it, and actually commit to the sport if you want to see that improvement.”

The 16-year-old sprinter has been running for Owasso Public Schools since seventh grade. While his focus has been centered toward leading his team on the track, the collaboration he also brings to the group is a top priority.

“Probably my favorite thing about running is the team aspect,” he said. “I love everyone here, it’s just such a great team culture, and we all just get along together.”

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