Tyson Foods Pays $2.5M in Fish Kill Plea Deal

Tyson Foods Pays $2.5M in Fish Kill Plea Deal
(Tyson Foods)

Tyson Foods Inc. of Springdale signed off on a $2.5 million plea agreement related to a pair of Clean Water Act violations at its processing plant in Monett, Missouri.

The publicly traded meat processor (NYSE: TSN) pleaded guilty in federal court in Springfield, Missouri, to two misdemeanors tied to the discharge of the liquid food supplement Alimet into the city's wastewater treatment system in 2014. The discharge led to the death of about 108,000 fish in Cold Creek.

In a news release, the U.S. Department of Justice said Tyson Foods will pay a $2 million fine and serve two years of probation; pay $500,000 to "maintain and restore waters" in the Monett area; and implement certain environmental compliance programs.

In its own statement, Tyson Foods said it regrets what happened and has "taken corrective action to make sure it doesn't happen again."

"Since the incident, we've conducted lessons learned training for all environmental managers in our poultry operations and have strengthened our environmental policies and procedures to help prevent similar mistakes," the company said.

In 2015, Tyson Foods reached a $540,000 civil settlement related to the incident with the state of Missouri.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey H. Wood of the DOJ's Environment and Natural Resources Division said the settlement will help deter future violations of the Clear Water Act. 

"Today's agreement will remedy environmental harm caused by the defendant's actions while also helping to ensure that these kinds of problems do not happen again," Wood said.