SD DENR fines Smithfield for water violations in Big Sioux River

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Smithfield Foods, Inc. faces fines for water violations at its Sioux Falls plant.

The South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources has fined the company more than $46,000.

Smithfield’s Sioux Falls wastewater treatment plant discharges to the Big Sioux River under a state-issued Surface Water Discharge permit. The company reported violations of its permit limits for total suspended solids, biochemical oxygen demand, ammonia, fecal coliform, and toxicity test between Febuary 1, 2019 and July 31, 2019.

After the reported violations, DENR required Smithfield to collect daily water quality samples in the Big Sioux River. According to a news release on the fines, the results indicated the discharge violations did not lead to exceedances of the South Dakota Surface Water Quality Standards in the river.

“Smithfield has addressed these violations,” DENR Secretary Hunter Roberts said in a news release. “However, this penalty reinforces the need for permit compliance. DENR expects operators to comply with their permits and will continue to work closely with Smithfield to prevent future violations.”

Smithfield must conduct additional monitoring it there are more violations. The company must also complete an evaluation of its water collection system and implement approved corrective actions to minimize excess water flows during precipitation events.

Smithfield Foods was fined $53,382 in 2018 for Ammonia levels violating the permitted daily maximum limit for seven days in August 2018.

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