Tyson Poultry Inc. has taken full responsibility for a 2014 environmental incident at its Monett, Mo., facility. In addition to taking immediate corrective action, the company reached a civil settlement in 2015 with the state of Missouri and this week resolved federal concerns.
“An unfortunate mistake was made by our company in May 2014 that resulted in the accidental release of an animal feed ingredient into the city of Monett’s wastewater treatment system. The release disrupted the treatment system and resulted in a fish kill in a nearby stream,” Tyson Poultry explained in a statement.
The company said it deeply regrets the mistake but has taken corrective action to make sure it doesn’t happen again, adding, “We’re committed to doing better in all areas of our business, especially when it comes to protecting the environment.”
The settlement with the state of Missouri in 2015 resulted in Tyson Poultry paying a civil penalty, funding a bridge replacement in Monett and donating money to the James River Basin Partnership.
This week, the company resolved federal concerns about the incident by taking responsibility for two misdemeanor violations of the Clean Water Act.
“Our company will pay a $2 million fine to the federal government and make a $500,000 community service payment, with half going to the city of Monett and half to Missouri environmental organizations," Tyson Poultry explained. "We will also fund third-party environmental audits of our feed mills and wastewater treatment plants.”
Since the incident, Tyson Poultry has conducted "lessons learned" training for all environmental managers in its poultry operations and has strengthened its environmental policies and procedures to help prevent similar mistakes from happening.