WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Department of Justice announced Feb. 27 that Tyson Poultry Inc. will pay $2 million after allegedly violating the Clean Water Act when it allowed discharges at its slaughter and processing facility in Monett, Missouri. The discharges purportedly led to a major loss of fish.
“Good corporate practices are vital to protecting public health and our nation’s natural resources,” Jeffrey H. Wood, acting assistant attorney general for the Environment & Natural Resources Division, said in a statement. “When corporate misconduct disregards human safety or the environment in violation of federal laws, the Department of Justice and EPA stand ready to pursue all necessary legal relief, including criminal penalties, to ensure that these acts do not go unpunished. We hope that the outcome of this case will be a lesson for all companies that deal with dangerous wastes.”
Tyson Poultry is the largest chicken producer in the United States. According to allegations, a spill occurred at the company’s feed mill in Aurora, Missouri. The spill involved the release of a liquid food supplement called “Alimet” that is high in acid.
To deal with the spill, Tyson allegedly gathered up the substances and transported them to Monett. From there Tyson allegedly discharged the substances into sewers that flowed directly into the city’s municipal waste water treatment plant. The Alimet killed bacteria used to reduce ammonia in the treatment plant’s discharges. Because of this, more ammonia was released from the treatment plant. This ammonia made its way into Clear Creek and killed roughly 108,000 fish.