The world’s second largest poultry producer pleaded guilty in federal court to charges filed in 2014 against the company for violating the Clean Water Act. The charges were filed after Tyson’s slaughter and processing facility in Monett, Mo., spilled a highly acidic substance into Clear Creek, resulting in the death of 108,000 fish.
The substance was in a liquid food supplement transported from the Aurora feed mill to Tyson’s Monett plant. The city of Monett did not have the ability in their waste water treatment plant to clean the liquid after Tyson’s plant discharged the substance.
Tyson is ordered to pay $2 million in criminal fines and an additional $500,000 to restore waters in the Monett area and Clear Creek, and serve two years of probation. In additional, Tyson will implement environmental compliance programs by hiring a third-party auditor to examine all Tyson poultry facility throughout the country to assess their compliance with the Clean Water Act and hazardous waste laws. Further prevention methods include conducting specialized environmental training at processing plants, hatcheries, feed mills, rendering plants and waste water treatment plants, and improving policies and procedures to address the circumstances that gave rise to these violations.
Tyson Poultry Inc. apologized in a statement, saying they deeply regret the mistake and that they are committed to doing better in protecting the environment.