Farms Pay $1M & Promise to Clean Up

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (CN) – Premium Standard Farms will pay Missouri $1 million and will modernize 11 farms to protect the water and air in Northwest Missouri, the state’s attorney general said. The 11 farms owned by Smithfield Foods and Premium Standard have been the subject of a dispute since 1999, when the state sued Premium Standard on environmental charges.

     The attorney general claimed the company violated federal and state laws on wastewater spills and discharges.
     That complaint was settled under consent judgment in August 1999 that required a variety of actions.
     The state filed a second complaint in 2002, claiming more violations of the Missouri Clean Water law. A second consent judgment was filed in February 2004, with an Aug. 1, 2010 completion deadline.
     Most of the two consent judgments requirements were fulfilled, but the state claims that Premium Standard failed to install next-generation barn odor technology before the deadline.
     The settlement requires Premium Standard to install approved barn scraper systems in 48 barns by Dec. 31, 2010; in at least 136 barns by July 31, 2011; in at least 230 barns by Dec. 31, 2011; and in all remaining barns (about 365) by July 31, 2012.
     If Premium Standard fails to comply, the settlement calls for fines of $2,000 a day per barn set for the first 30 days of noncompliance; $4,000 a day per barn set for the next 30 days of noncompliance; and $6,000 a day per barn set for 60 days or beyond of noncompliance.
     The settlement includes $1 million in voluntary payments. Those payments include $100,000 each to the county school funds for Gentry, Daviess, Mercer, Sullivan and Putnam counties and $500,000 to various county road funds.

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