Environmentalists sue over Florida chicken plant’s pollution

The scenic calm waters of the Suwannee River as tourists approach an old railroad bridge May 19, 2008 near Manatee Springs, Fla. Drawn by an old familiar song, growing numbers of travelers are seeking out the tea-colored waters of the Suwannee River. And galvanized by the song, environmentalists and legislators are fighting to keep the stream unspoiled amid thirsty Florida's development. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) – Environmental groups have filed suit against a large chicken processing plant in north Florida, alleging the facility is illegally polluting the Suwannee River.

Environment Florida and the Sierra Club filed a complaint alleging violations of the Clean Water Act on Thursday in federal court in Jacksonville.

The suit accuses the Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. of violating clean water laws by sending more polluted wastewater into the river than the facility is permitted to discharge.

The plant cuts up and packages chickens for retail sale.

In a statement, Pilgrim’s Pride says it takes the allegations seriously and that the problems highlighted in the suit were discovered and reported to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection by the company.

Company spokesman Cameron Bruett says corrective actions have already been implemented.



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