John Morrell and Co. agreed Friday to pay $44,079 for dozens of violations of the Clean Water Act.
In a federal suit filed last week, the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources cited the Sioux Falls hog processing plant for 58 violations since May 2008 and said the plant was noncompliant with federal statutes in nine of the last 12 quarters. Morrell is accused of dumping toxic chemicals from its Sioux Falls plant into the Big Sioux River. According to a Sioux Falls Argus Leader story, at its peak, the plant is accused of discharging three times the permitted amount of ammonia into the river.
The settlement agreement calls for Morrell to review its wastewater treatment and to begin improvements in a year. The Sioux Falls Morrell plant processes 17,000 hogs a day.
A statement from Morrell says the company will cooperate with state and federal regulators to address problems at the plant. The Sioux Falls plant is Smithfield Foods’ largest U.S. hog processing facility.