Tyson Foods agreed to pay a $305,000 federal fine resulting from a spill of rendered oily chicken byproducts from its facility in Harmony, N.C., into two local water sources — Hunting Creek and the South Yadkin River, — according to settlement papers filed in federal court on Tuesday, (May 27).
As part of the settlement, Tyson Foods neither admitted nor denied the allegations from the January 2010 incident.
Court documents said a frozen valve burst, resulting in a wastewater spill, which inadvertently discharged into a nearby river. The river served two public water intake stations, which were temporarily shut down for a brief period as a precaution.
“At the time of the incident, Tyson cooperated fully with local government and water treatment officials,” Tyson spokesman Worth Sparkman said.“It’s important to note that there was no health risk to residents who relied on the water at the time.”
Tyson was fined $8,375 for the incident in 2010 by the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources
"The discharged oil caused a sheen, film and discoloration of the surface of the water and adjoining shorelines of Hunting Creek and the South Yadkin River, and caused an emulsion to be deposited upon the adjoining shorelines of Hunting Creek and the South Yadkin River," the Environmental Protection Agency noted in its complaint.