Pa. Beef Processor To Pay $2M For Water Pollution

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Federal authorities say a suburban Philadelphia beef processor has agreed to pay $2 million in penalties and damages to settle allegations that it violated clean water laws leading to three fish kills in the Schuylkill River basin.

Officials said Wednesday that the consent degree was reached with JBS Souderton, formerly Smithfield Beef Group, which operates the Montgomery County rendering plant.

Authorities alleged in December 2008 the plant had been out of compliance since 2003 and had discharged pollutants that killed thousands of fish in Skippack Creek in 2007 and 2008.

Officials said the company had agreed to make improvements, including building a $6 million wastewater treatment plant, and pay $950,000 in penalties to both the federal and state governments as well as $100,000 in damages to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

A company official did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

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