Swift Beef Co. will pay $1.3 million to settle violations of the federal Clean Water Act and state law at its processing plant in Nebraska, officials said.

The agreement to pay the penalty is in addition to the company having spent more than $1 million at its Grand Island, Neb., facility to implement measures to reduce pollutants in its wastewater as required by its discharge permits, the U.S. Justice Department said Thursday in a release.

“JBS/Swift is pleased to have reached an amicable resolution that resolves both federal and state claims regarding the Grand Island beef processing facility’s wastewater and non-contact cooling water discharges as outlined in the settlement (consent decree) between Swift, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality,” JBS Swift said in a release.

“Since the incidents noted in the consent decree, JBS, which acquired Swift Beef Company and the Grand Island facility in 2007, has invested more than $45 million in capital improvements to the facility and added approximately 270 jobs to the community. Of the $45 million in capital improvements, more than $1 million has been invested in processes and technologies to improve wastewater quality. As a result, the Grand Island facility is now in full compliance with its wastewater discharge requirements. In addition, the facility is constructing an upgrade to its wastewater treatment system in order to meet more stringent wastewater discharge limits that go into effect in November 2011. Construction is on schedule, and JBS/Swift expects to be in full compliance with the new limits when they go into effect. Many of the improvements were and are being completed with the help of local contractors.

JBS/Swift strives to be a responsible corporate citizen in everything we do, and it’s our constant commitment to meet all environmental regulations and requirements as well as to contribute positively to the communities in which we operate. We regret any oversights that led to these events, and we’ll continue to cooperate fully with the EPA, the NDEQ, and all other authorities to ensure that our impact in Grand Island is positive,” it added.


Source: UPI, JBS Swift