Tyson Foods has pleaded guilty to two criminal charges of violating the Clean Water Act, after a 2014 incident in southwest Missouri. A discharge from the company’s Monett, Mo. feed mill led to pollution that killed 108,000 fish, reports Missourinet. Prosecutors say Tyson will have to pay a $2 million dollar criminal fine and serve two years’ probation, and must pay $500,000 to maintain and restore waters in the Monett area.
Tyson has issued the following statement:
“Tyson Poultry Inc. has taken full responsibility for a 2014 environmental incident at the company’s Monett, Missouri, facility. In addition to taking immediate corrective action, the company reached a civil settlement in 2015 with the state of Missouri and today it resolved federal concerns. Company officials issued the following statement on the federal resolution:
“An unfortunate mistake was made by our company in May 2014 that resulted in the accidental release of an animal feed ingredient into the City of Monett’s wastewater treatment system. The release disrupted the treatment system and resulted in a fish kill in a nearby stream.
“We deeply regret the mistake that was made and have taken corrective action to make sure it doesn’t happen again. We’re committed to doing better in all areas of our business, especially when it comes to protecting the environment.
“Since the incident, we’ve conducted lessons learned training for all environmental managers in our poultry operations and have strengthened our environmental policies and procedures to help prevent similar mistakes.
“We reached a settlement with the State of Missouri in 2015 over the accidental release and subsequently paid a civil penalty, funded a bridge replacement in Monett and donated money to the James River Basin Partnership.
“Today, we resolved federal concerns about the incident by taking responsibility for two misdemeanor violations of the Clean Water Act. Our company will pay a $2 million fine to the federal government and make a $500,000 community service payment, with half going to the City of Monett and half to Missouri environmental organizations. We will also fund third-party environmental audits of our feed mills and wastewater treatment plants.”
Source: Tyson Foods Inc., Missourinet