A settlement has been proposed in a case in which Pilgrim’s has been accused of violating its Clean Water Act while discharging water into the Suwannee River near Live Oak, Florida, according to reports.
WJCT reported that a consortium of environmentalists sued the company for discharging water into the river, which the company is allowed to do. However, the groups allege that the Live Oak poultry plant’s level of pollution has exceeded the limits of its Clean Water Act permit. Groups included in the lawsuit include the Sierra Club and Environment Florida.
Under the proposed agreement, Pilgrim’s, the second largest broiler company in the United States, would pay the plaintiffs just more than $1 million and more than $100,000 in federal fines. The terms of the settlement would also require Pilgrim’s to conduct a study of its operations, add filters to its wastewater treatment plant and build new wells for clean water for use with its processing operations.
A spokesperson for Environment Florida said if the settlement is approved, it would be the largest citizen suit penalty of its kind in the history of Florida.
The proposed settlement still needs to gain approval from Federal Judge Timothy Corrigan.