Tyson Poultry Inc., a subsidiary of Tyson Foods Inc., pleaded guilty Wednesday to violating the Clean Water Act. The charges stem from a spill at the company’s feed mill in Aurora, Missouri.
The Springdale, Arkansas company admitted to discharging liquids that contained Alimet, a food supplement with a pH of less than one, from a tank it utilized to store Aliment. The tank sprang a leak, causing the acidic liquid to flow into a containment area.
Tyson hired a contractor to remove and transport the Alimet to its Monett facility, where it was put into an in-house treatment system that was not designed to treat Alimet-contaminated waste. It was later discovered that some of the Alimet entered the Monett’s municipal wastewater treatment plant and killed bacteria utilized to decrease ammonia in discharges that flowed into Clear Creek. The incident led to the death of 108,000 fish.
Tyson has agreed to pay a $2 million fine, pay $500,000 to restore and maintain waters in the Monett area and serve two years of probation. The company was ordered to hire a third-party auditor and implement an environmental compliance program.
“Our Division is hopeful that the outcome of this case will help deter future violations of the Clean Water Act and keep our water supply and marine life free from pollutions.” Said Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey H. Wood of the Environment and Natural Resources Division. “Today’s agreement will remedy environmental harm caused by the defendant’s actions while also helping to ensure that these kinds of problems do not happen again.”