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Dog Die After Being Scalded, Mint Farmer Sentenced

Last updated on Friday, October 7, 2011

KNOX, Ind. (AP) - A northern Indiana mint farmer has been sentenced for allowing steaming hot water to enter a drainage ditch where a man says his dog was scalded to death.

A Starke County judge on Wednesday ordered 56-year-old Michael Materna of Hamlet to spend eight months on home detention and pay a $20,000 fine. He pleaded guilty to discharging pollutants without a permit.

WSBT-TV reports that environmental officials found water in the ditch between 128 and 152 degrees. Mint farmers use boiling water to extract mint oil that's used in products such as toothpaste and chewing gum.

Pete Daley says that his dog jumped into the ditch last year while playing fetch.
State officials have been reviewing environmental rules for Indiana's mint farms, which are concentrated southwest of South Bend.

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