Large pork producer settles environmental claims by EPA and CLEAN

In a newly announced settlement, Premium Standard Farms, the nation's second largest pork producer, today committed to reduce nutrients produced from its waste handling system in Missouri by half.

KANSAS CITY, Mo., Nov. 20, 2001 — In a newly announced settlement, Premium Standard Farms, the nation's second largest pork producer, today committed to reduce nutrients produced from its waste handling system in Missouri by half.

This reduction will allow the company to dramatically reduce land used for application. The commitment to reduce nutrients is part of a consent decree between the company, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Citizens Legal Environmental Action Network (CLEAN).

The agreement settles all environmental claims against the company by EPA and CLEAN. The consent decree will be published for comment in the Federal Register and filed with the federal court in Kansas City prior to becoming effective.

The agreement also settles all environmental claims against ContiGroup Companies, Inc., formerly Continental Grain Company for alleged environmental violations on swine farms in north Missouri. Continental Grain's Missouri swine operations were merged with Premium Standard Farms in 1998.

The agreement supports the development and implementation of "Next Generation Technology". "Next Generation Technology" is a defined term in the 1999 Consent Decree between the company and the state of Missouri, whereby the company committed to develop and implement innovative waste handling technology at its farms in northwest Missouri.

"We are committed to producing consistent high quality pork in an environmentally sustainable system. The technologies we have been testing since 1999 serve as the foundation of our work to reduce land used for application, and enhance our environmental stewardship," said David Townsend, vice president of environmental affairs for Premium Standard Farms.

"These technologies may help us reduce the nutrients in our waste, reuse a portion of the wastewater produced or recycle nutrients through value added processes. Reducing the nutrient concentration will allow us to reduce the land used for application. That means we can select land for application that is farther away from neighbors and streams."

The collaborative nature of the agreement is being praised by Missouri's congressional delegation. "It's great to see the state and federal governments work with industry to develop solutions to very complex problems," said Sam Graves, Congressman from Missouri's sixth district. "I'm excited these new technologies are being developed in north Missouri. These systems have the potential to not only reduce nutrients, but reduce odor, thereby improving the quality of life for neighbors and ensuring the viability of an important area industry."

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