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Tyson Foods Sued in Missouri

MONETT, Mo. -- The State of Missouri is suing Springdale-based Tyson Foods, Inc., in connection with a recent fish kill near the town of Monett.
MONETT, Mo. – During an announcement at his Springfield office Tuesday, Attorney General Chris Koster says he has filed a lawsuit in Barry County Circuit Court against Tyson Foods, Inc. in connection with the recent fish kill.

According to Koster, the incident began on May 16, when the Tyson Foods facility at Monett discharged wastewater containing a highly acidic animal feed supplement into the City of Monett’s sewer system.

The chemical caused the city’s biological wastewater treatment system to fail, and contaminated water with a high level of ammonia entered Clear Creek causing thousands of fish to die.

"Missouri's waterways are among our states most important natural resources," says Koster. "Tyson's conduct threatened the bitality of Clear Creek as a resource for Southwest Missouri. Tyson Foods must be held accountable for dumping pollution into the waterways."

Tyson released statements apologizing for the incident.

"At Tyson Foods, we want to be a good neighbor, but like most people, we're not perfect and sometimes we make mistakes," says one statement.

"We're sorry about what happened and have started to make things right," says another statement from the company.

The lawsuit is made up of six counts against Tyson for pollution on state waters and violations of Missouri’s hazardous waste laws.

Koster says he is seeking penalties against Tyson, compensation for the damage to the stream and reimbursement for the state’s costs in investigating the incident.

Koster says he is suing for $10,000 per violation per day. He visited Clear Creek this morning and says the pollution is gone and the creek is back in good shape.

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