Pollution Suit Targets Poultry Plants

Yesterday, the Waterkeeper Alliance, an environmental watchdog group, filed intent-to-sue letters to Cargill Meat Solutions Corporation and Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation. These two poultry plants are located in Rockingham County, and they face lawsuits over allegations that they repeatedly pollute the North Fork of the Shenandoah River.

“The letters state that the poultry plants have overwhelmed a failing wastewater treatment plant in Timberville,VA resulting in illegal overflows of ammonia, fecal coliform, phosphorus and nitrogen — as well as industrial contaminants — into the North Fork.” The Cargill facility is operated by Shaeffer International, and “records from the DEQ indicate that in 2005, Shaeffer exceeded legal limits for the discharge of phosphorus and nitrogen by 740 percent and 35 percent.”

Pilgrim’s Pride and Cargill have said that Shaeffer International is responsible for violating the DEQ’s legal limits, and Shaeffer should be held responsible.

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