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Pollution suit targets Cargill, Pilgrim's Pride

by 5m Editor
24 May 2007, at 11:44am

ROCKINGHAM - Two Rockingham County poultry plants face lawsuits over allegations that they repeatedly pollute the North Fork of the Shenandoah River.

The Waterkeeper Alliance, an environmental watchdog group, Wednesday filed intent-to-sue letters to Cargill Meat Solutions Corporation and Pilgrim's Pride Corporation.

"While we have not seen the suit, based on the press release, we'd disagree with the allegations,"

Cargill spokesman Mark Klein

The letters state that the poultry plants have overwhelmed a failing wastewater treatment plant in Timberville, resulting in illegal overflows of ammonia, fecal coliform, phosphorus and nitrogen — as well as industrial contaminants — into the North Fork.

"Basically, these companies have been ignoring the fact that their waste is not properly treated," said Jeff Kelble, a member of the alliance. "There are state and federal laws that require a cradle-to-grave ownership of waste, and we don't think they're meeting that obligation."

Cargill spokesman Mark Klein responded briefly to the news.

"While we have not seen the suit, based on the press release, we'd disagree with the allegations," he stated. "SIL (Shaeffer International, which operates the Timberville facility) had the permit and was in violation, not Cargill."

Source: NewsLeader

5m Editor