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State reaches agreement with Mountaire over 2017 violations

Katie Peikes
Delaware Public Media

State environmental regulators have finalized an agreement with a regional chicken producer addressing environmental violations they took the company to state and federal court over last year.

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) signed an agreement with Mountaire Farms on Friday, resolving spray irrigation and land application permit violations from a 2017 wastewater treatment facility failure at its Millsboro plant.

The agreement requires the company to mitigate its damage to the environment through short-term and long-term corrective measures. The company must offer nearby residents the option of a whole-house filtration system in addition to the public water supply and deeper well alternatives outlined in an agreement proposed last year. The company also faces a penalty of at least $420,000.

Mountaire spokeswoman Catherine Bassett said in a statement the agreement brings “closure on all outstanding issues,” and that "it's time the permitting process moves forward.” She notes the company plans to build an upgraded wastewater treatment facility in Millsboro.

DNREC plans to request the agreement be entered by the Federal Court as a consent decree so that the court can enforce the agreement. 

DNREC has also signed a conciliatory agreement with the company to resolve other violations. It requires Mountaire to pay a penalty which can be abated with an environmental restoration project.


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