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Dakota Pork Plant Fined over Water Violations

by 5m Editor
6 August 2008, at 7:14am

SOUTH DAKOTA - Dakota Pork Industries has been ordered to pay a fine of $50,000 and make $175,000 in restitution to the city of Mitchell for violating the Clean Water Act.

According to U.S. Attorney Marty Jackley, company employees at the now-closed packing plant tampered with a device used to monitor wastewater, and the firm failed to properly treat the sewage.

Pretreating wastewater is designed to reduce or eliminate pollutants before sending sewage to a treatment plant.

Dakota Pork's president, Carl Kuehne, admitted Dec. 27 that he knew employees had tampered with monitoring equipment.

The packing plant closed in 2006.

The fine and restitution were part of a recommended sentence as part of a pretrial agreement between the company and the government, reports Sioux City Journal.

"Failing to accurately monitor and report the presence of pollutants puts our environment at great risk. Today's sentence recognizes the significance of this violation, ensures accountability and acknowledges the efforts of the corporate defendant to accept responsibility once its wrongful conduct was uncovered," Jackley said.

"Local governments need accurate data in order to protect citizens and the environment. We are pleased with the outcome of this case and the fact that the corporate defendant has accepted responsibility for its wrongful conduct," said Lori Hanson, special agent in charge of the Environmental Protection Agency's Criminal Investigation Division in Denver.

5m Editor