DNREC files complaint against Mountaire's Selbyville plant
DNREC has fined Mountaire Farms for discharging excessive pollutants into the St. Martin River from its Selbyville facility.
The facility violated a permit that limits the amount of fecal bacteria, oil and grease and other contaminants that it’s allowed to release. Bryan Ashby, an environmental program manager at DNREC, says these pollutants came from one of the facility’s outfalls.
“In the area adjacent to outfall 002, there is a live hold where they keep chickens that are in cages prior to processing," said Ashby.
Water that washes off of this live animal section and stormwater runoff discharges into the Sandy Branch of the St. Martin River, one of the unhealthiest waterways in the area. Mountaire will be required to install a pool to eliminate these pollutants.
Mountaire will also have to pay a $48,000 civil penalty in accordance to a consent decree DNREC filed with Sussex County Superior Court.
In August, activist group Food and Water Watch also filed a 60-day intent-to-sue against Mountaire for violating the Clean Water Act at the same facility.