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Perdue and EPA Sign Historic Agreement

by 5m Editor
7 January 2009, at 9:38a.m.

US - The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Regions 3 and 4 and Perdue Farms Incorporated have announced an agreement to help poultry producers growing for Perdue protect the nation's waters. Perdue has also published a booklet on environmental stewardship.

The parties signed a Memorandum of Agreement to implement the Perdue Clean Waters Environmental Initiative, an effort to provide training, assessments and other assistance to reduce the environmental impact of poultry farms.

"Perdue Farms is committed to environmental stewardship and shares that commitment with the independent farm families who raise our birds," said Perdue chairman, Jim Perdue. "We are pleased to work cooperatively with EPA Regions 3 and 4 to enhance the implementation of environmental best management practices on poultry farms, and feel that working together and providing producers with knowledge and resources to enable them to be good environmental stewards is the most productive route to our shared goals of protecting our natural resources and preserving the family farm."

"By signing this Clean Waters agreement, EPA is agreeing to work with Perdue to restore and protect surface and groundwater," said Jimmy Palmer, EPA Region 4 Regional Administrator. "These waterways provide valuable ecosystems for plant and animal life, and are a source of recreation for visitors and residents throughout the Southeast and mid-Atlantic regions."

"Run-off from improperly managed poultry farms can harm water quality, as well as plant and fish life. This agreement will ensure that Perdue contract growers, here and in the Southeast are in compliance with regulatory requirements and have reduced their impact on our waterways," said Donald S. Welsh, regional administrator for EPA mid-Atlantic region.

The formal Memorandum of Agreement, known as the Clean Waters Environmental Initiative, grew out of a pilot program initiated by EPA Region 3 and Perdue on the Delmarva Peninsula in Delaware, Maryland and Virginia. Beginning in 2007, EPA and Perdue provided training and assistance to the largest independent contract poultry farms growing for Perdue throughout the Peninsula. Trained flock supervisors visited each farm and used a checklist to examine how well the farmers complied with nutrient management regulations and best management practices in their poultry production areas and noted any improvements needed.

Under the Clean Waters Environmental Initiative, Perdue will use results of the initial pilot effort to launch a four-year, company-wide environmental management program for all contract poultry farms growing for Perdue. While new federal regulations only apply to concentrated animal feeding operations that discharge, this program will extend to all Perdue producers in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions.

Under the program, Perdue, EPA and other partners will provide training and assistance to poultry farmers so that they can learn how to achieve or exceed compliance with guidelines on controlling runoff and managing litter disposal. The initiative will also include an awards program to recognize poultry farms that demonstrate environmental and compliance excellence in protecting and restoring waterways.

Also as part of the initiative, Perdue poultry processing facilities will each implement an Environmental Management System, a set of processes and practices designed to reduce environmental impacts and increase operating efficiency.

Perdue Publishes Booklet on Environmental Stewardship

During a time of economic challenges, Perdue Inc. remains focused on its environmental agenda, taking a number of steps in the last 18 months to further the company's commitment to environmental responsibility.

Most recently, the company published Environmental Stewardship: The Nature of our Company, a 12-page booklet describing the company's commitment to environmental responsibility and current activities as well as summaries of selected environmental partnerships.

Further Reading

- You can view Environmental Stewardship: The Nature of our Company from Perdue by clicking here.