In this file:
· Iowa groups join ‘Clean It Up Tyson’ campaign
· New Iowa coalition blames Tyson for pollution of waterways
· Tyson foods will pay for environmental damage
· Tyson Poultry fined $2 million for criminal clean water violations in Missouri
· Animal rights, free speech groups sue over 'ag-gag' law (Iowa)
Iowa groups join ‘Clean It Up Tyson’ campaign
By O. Kay Henderson, Radio Iowa
October 11, 2017
The Iowa Environmental Council, the Des Moines Water Works and 18 central Iowa businesses have joined a coalition urging Tyson Foods to adopt new land-use rules for producers who supply livestock to Tyson slaughtering plants.
“Unfortunately, the meat industry is currently driving production practices of feed grains that pollute our waterways with excess fertilizer pollutants,” said Elise Peterson-Trujillo, a Des Moines-based organizer for Mighty Earth, an environmental group headquartered in Washington, D.C. “Tyson Foods is the company most responsible for driving these polluting practices.”
Tyson is the country’s largest meat company, producing about one out of every five pounds of meat purchased by American consumers. Susan Heathcote, the water program director for the Iowa Environmental Council, said if Tyson required producers to plant oats or other cover crops on harvested corn and soybean fields, nitrate run-off could be reduced by as much as 40 percent.
“We really want to continue to make sure that we have a productive agricultural landscape,” Heathcote said today. “It’s a big part of our economy, but we need to do that in a way that doesn’t add to the water quality problems, especially nitrate in our drinking water is a big issue in Iowa.”
Heathcote spoke this morning during a news conference in Des Moines that was organized by the “Mighty Earth” group. Des Moines Water Works CEO Bill Stowe also spoke at the event, which was held on a Des Moines River bank.
“Look out at that water,” Stowe said...
New Iowa coalition blames Tyson for pollution of waterways
by WQAD Digital Team
October 11, 2017
IOWA -- A new watchdog group is blaming one of Iowa's biggest corporations for pollution in the state's waterways over the past few decades.
Made up of 20 groups from around the state, the "Clean it Up Tyson Coalition" announced its creation today.
The coalition says Tyson is polluting Iowa waterways with animal waste runoff, while promoting irresponsible grain production to feed those animals.
Tyson responded by saying that cleaning up waterways is not an issue that can be fixed...
more, including video
Tyson foods will pay for environmental damage
KSPR Springfield, MO
Oct 11, 2017
Tyson foods has admitted it caused a major sewage plant problem in Monett and a fish kill and will pay for the environmental damage.
Three years ago more than 100,000 fish were killed in Clear Creek. According to Tyson they accidentally discharged an animal feed in to the city of Monett's waste water.
"You know 10 to 14 days. We had out waste water plant put out of operation," said Dennis Pyle, Monett city administrator. "There was a significant odor issue in town during that time. And, we were finally able to resolve it."
Now as part of a plea agreement Tyson will pay $500,000 in damages. The first half of it will go to making improvements at the waste water plant in Monett.
"We will make improvements to our final clarifier, our sludge holding basin and our head works building which will all help the plant operate as efficiently as it can," Pyle explained.
They've already added a PH meter, and were able to get several ammonia test kits. The other half of the settlement will be given to area environmental groups. The James River Basin Partnership will receive $50,000. Forty thousand of which will be allotted for a septic tank program.
"We actually send them $50 if they participate in the program and do get their septic tank pumped," said Tiffany Frey, James River Basin Partnership. " So we send them a financial incentive, and then we also send them information on septic tank care."
The other $10,000 is for restoring and protecting the Wilson's Creek riparian corridor...
Tyson Poultry fined $2 million for criminal clean water violations in Missouri
By Tony Rizzo And Matt Campbell, The Kansas City Star
September 27, 2017
Tyson Poultry Inc., the factory chicken supplier that ran into a buzzsaw of opposition this month when it tried to open an operation near Tonganoxie, Kan., on Wednesday agreed to pay $2 million for a 2014 environmental spill in Monett, Mo.
It was “an unfortunate mistake,” the company said in a statement, when it released an animal feed ingredient into the Monett wastewater treatment system and caused a fish kill in a nearby stream.
The 2014 discharge of a substance known as Alimet made it into the water treatment plant for the city of Monett. It was ultimately responsible for causing the deaths of more than 100,000 fish, according to documents filed in federal court.
The company pleaded guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Springfield to two counts of violating the Clean Water Act.
The company will be on probation for two years and besides the fine will pay $500,000 to maintain and restore waters in the Monett area.
“Tyson’s admitted criminal conduct caused significant environmental damage, including a large-scale fish kill,” Acting U.S. Attorney Tom Larson of the Western District of Missouri said in a written statement. “Today’s plea agreement not only holds Tyson accountable for its actions in Missouri, but requires the company to take steps to insure compliance with the Clean Water Act at its poultry facilities throughout the United States.”
As part of the plea agreement, Tyson will also implement environmental compliance programs that include:
Animal rights, free speech groups sue over 'ag-gag' law
Max Diekneite, Anchor/Reporter, KCCI Des Moines
Oct 11, 2017
DES MOINES, Iowa —
Animal rights and free speech organizations have sued the state of Iowa over legislation known as the “ag-gag” law, saying it’s unconstitutional.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund, the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and the Center for Food Safety and Public Justice filed the lawsuit Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Des Moines.
“They just want to come in and try to piece together something that doesn’t look good and put it in a bad light,” said farmer Dave Struther, former president of the Iowa Pork Association.
The lawsuit challenges a 2012 law that made it illegal to get a job at a livestock farm through misrepresentation to conduct an animal cruelty undercover investigation.
Karen McKilligan, along with her husband, develops nutritional products to keep animals healthy.
“What business would want someone with malicious intent or someone who is in direct opposition working in their business as a secret agent?” McKilligan said.
But the groups claim Iowa's law violates their constitutional free speech and equal protection rights.
“The state of Iowa should be ashamed for trying to keep secret the inhumane treatment of animals in slaughterhouses and factory farms,” said Jeff Kerr, general counsel to PETA.
“How important it is that people know where their food is coming from, how workers in our states are being treated, what environmental concerns there are?” said Veronica Fowler, communications director for the ACLU of Iowa. “Those are important things for people to know.”
Farmers argue the undercover practice is dishonest, but the ACLU argues, “you don’t even have to directly lie. You just don’t have to tell the whole truth.”
Struthers said the lawsuit is not about protecting animals but rather causing more hassles for farmers, primarily livestock producers...