JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Legal Newsline) - Tyson Foods agreed to a settlement with Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster on Tuesday after the company allegedly discharged contaminated wastewater, causing at least 100,000 fish to die in Barry County.
As part of the settlement, Tyson will pay $110,000 in civil penalties, along with reimbursing the Missouri Department of Conservation more than $36,000 for expenses. The company also will pay more than $11,000 to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources for expenses and an additional $162,898 to the state for damages.
The incident happened in May when Tyson’s facility in Aurora allegedly discharged wastewater that contained an animal feed supplement that was highly acidic. The wastewater, which also contained an abnormally high level of ammonia, caused Monett City’s sewer system to fail and overflow into Clear Creek, it was alleged.
"Tyson’s actions threatened the vitality of Clear Creek," Koster said. "While Tyson has taken steps to prevent similar environmental damage to the creek in the future, the penalties contained in this agreement hold the company accountable for the damage that occurred."
The settlement also requires Tyson to pay to replace a bridge over the creek, which has been serving as a barrier to fish. The company also will donate at least $10,000 to the James River Basin Partnership. If the bridge costs less than $210,000, the remaining money also will be donated to the partnership.