The News Journal published an in depth article about a possible Federal lawsuit against Mountaire . A link to the article, Lawyers Threaten Federal Lawsuit to Hold Delaware Chicken Plant Accountable for Pollution, is below.
Highlights of the article:
- Residents living near the Mountaire Farms’ chicken processing plant in southern Delaware have wondered how long their drinking water has been polluted by one of the area's largest employers.
- Fifteen years ago, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency discovered the plant was the source of high levels of nitrates, a contaminant increasingly affecting drinking water sources across the country, in groundwater and nearby wells.
- Residents used bottled water, thinking the situation was under control because government officials were taking water samples and monitoring the operations at the plant.
- They recently learned that Mountaire had been spraying highly contaminated wastewater, containing up to 41 times the legal level of permitted nitrates as recently as the summer of 2017, while state and federal officials seemed to be doing little more than filing paperwork.
- A team of local and national lawyers and experts are fighting for Mountaire's neighbors' right to safe, clean drinking water by turning to a decades-old federal law governing waste that includes provisions for citizens to step up when governments fail to enforce their own laws.
- A 90 day notice before the lawsuit is filed is legally required. Mountaire now has 90 days to do something about the pollution or the lawyers will more forward with the Federal lawsuit.
- Residents in the area have reported the occurence of ashma, other health issues, and unusual birth defects.
- Delaware's two US Senators have supported agricultural related legislation aimed at exempting farms (including concentrated animal feeding operations, CAFOs) from hazardous substance reporting.
Please read the articile in its entirety.
League of Women Voters are strong supporters of environmental issues and, as such, are urged to contact Senator Carper, Senator Coons, Representative Blunt-Rochester, and Governor Carney to express their concerns.