DNREC Issues $77K Penalty to Perdue Foods for 2015 Wastewater Vi - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Perdue Foods Fined for Wastewater Violations in Delaware

Posted: Mar 02, 2018 12:32 PM Updated:
Perdue tower at the company's complex on Zion Church Road. (Photo: WBOC) Perdue tower at the company's complex on Zion Church Road. (Photo: WBOC)

DOVER, Del. (WBOC/AP)- State environmental officials have fined Perdue Foods for multiple wastewater violations at a southern Delaware poultry processing plant.

Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control officials said Friday the department issued a conciliation order by consent to Perdue Foods for multiple violations of the company’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit back in 2015. The order amounts to an administrative penalty of $77,300 and an associated $7,601 assessment for expenses associated with the Department’s investigation. 

According to DNREC, from May-July 2015, Perdue Foods exceeded the effluent limits found in its NPDES permit on several occasions for ammonia, nitrogen, and enterococcus bacteria. The violations claimed that the facility's effluent added excess volumes of pollutants to the state’s surface waters, and contributed to the impairment of the state’s waterways. 

Perdue Foods operates a poultry processing facility in Georgetown and has a wastewater treatment plant onsite to treat the process and sanitary wastewater generated at the facility. DNREC says Perdue Foods also has a NPDES permit that places certain restrictions and limitations on the amount and concentration of various pollutants that may be discharged from the treatment plant to Savannah Ditch.

Since the violations, DNREC says the poultry giant has taken steps to enhance its treatment capability and address the issue of its contaminating effluent. DNREC confirms the action taken by the company helped limit the duration and extent of the upset; Perdue has not been in violation of these parameters since then.

To offset a portion of the penalty from DNREC, Perdue has chosen to perform an Environmental Improvement Project in conjunction with The Nature Conservancy, for which the company will convert 39 acres of farmland into forest. This will significantly reduce the loads of nitrogen and phosphorus pollutants going into the Broadkill River from the property to be converted, according to DNREC.

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