Class Action Lawsuit Still Pending Despite Agreement Between DNR - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Class Action Lawsuit Still Pending Despite Agreement Between DNREC & Mountaire Farms

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MILLSBORO, Del.- The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced an agreement with Mountaire Farms about a wastewater upset in Millsboro in 2017. Lawyers representing the plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit against Mountaire Farms called the agreement "woefully inadequate."

The agreement highlights three major components: short-term and long-term corrective measures including system upgrades to the Millsboro plant, option of a whole-house filtration system as an alternative water supply for nearby residents, and Mountaire is required to pay an administrative civil penalty of $855,000 in in administrative penalties through the two agreements minus potentially $320,000 in environmentally-beneficial offset or enhancement project as approved by DN?REC.

Mountaire Farms issued a statement to WBOC: “We are ready to move forward and glad that this agreement allows us to do that. This will bring closure on all outstanding issues and it’s time the permitting process moves forward. We have been completely transparent with DNREC every step of the way, and our team has worked hard to make improvements at our existing plants while getting ready for construction of a new, state-of-the-art waste water system in Millsboro to begin.”

A class action lawsuit consisting of almost 800 people in the Millsboro area was filed in 2018, challenging the agreement DNREC and Mountaire Farms made that year. Mediation between the three parties did not work out, so the lawsuit was put on pause. 

Chase Brockstedt, the lawyer representing those involved in the class action lawsuit, sent a statement sent to WBOC: "The proposed consent decree between DNREC and Mountaire does not resolve the pending claims in the State and Federal Courts and does not adequately address the environmental destruction caused by Mountaire’s business practices.  It is woefully inadequate.  We believe that the press release violates a State Court gag order and we intend to raise that issue with the Court."

Brockstedt requested a lift on the stay of the suit so the case can move forward.

The agreement between DNREC and Mountaire Farms must be approved by a judge in order to move forward. 

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