CONTACT: Michael Globetti, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
DNREC files complaint and consent order against
Mountaire Farms for wastewater permit violations
DOVER (Sept. 25, 2015) – DNREC has filed a complaint in Sussex County Superior Court against Mountaire Farms, Inc. for National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit violations at the poultry producer’s Selbyville facility. DNREC and Mountaire also have filed a consent decree, reflecting site improvements already made by the company and others to be made in the future, in order to remedy the permit violations cited in the complaint filed this week. In addition, the consent decree requires Mountaire to pay a $48,000 civil penalty within 30 days for the effluent violations. The consent decree has been signed by Superior Court Judge Henley Graves, and thus becomes a binding court order.
Mountaire’s current NPDES permit identifies the one remaining point source outfall at the facility, Outfall 002, which discharges into the Sandy Branch of the St. Martin River. Outfall 002 discharge has historically consisted of stormwater run-off from the plant’s processing area along with discharge from a “live animal hold” building at the facility, which constitutes a process wastewater discharge according to EPA Effluent Limit Guidelines.
DNREC’s complaint cites effluent limit violations that have occurred at Outfall 002 since the expiration of the compliance deadline imposed by the Department through a 2011 Notice of Conciliation and Secretary’s Order. Working with oversight from DNREC, Mountaire has made facility improvements over the last four years attempting to come into compliance with the Department’s 2011 edict. Although some reductions in effluent concentrations have been achieved during that time, additional reductions are required to eliminate the problem and to fully comply with the facility’s NPDES permit.
The consent decree formalizes Mountaire’s commitment to DNREC to achieve the required reductions by eliminating the discharge from Outfall 002, while also establishing a compliance schedule to implement the discharge elimination plan.
Vol. 45, No. 318