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Tyson Foods Chemicals Seeped into Creek, Killed All the Fish: Dept. of Natural Resources

Categories: Environment

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Wikimedia/DyPeMaP
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources says that an ammonia leak from a Tyson Foods plant in southeast Missouri seeped into a freshwater creek and killed thousands of fish.

Last week, residents in and around Monett -- a city about halfway between Joplin and Springfield -- began to notice dead fish floating upside down along Clear Creek, a popular spot for fishing and swimming. The Department of Natural Resources investigated and found high levels of Alimet in the water, which they traced back to a nearby Tyson Foods plant.

Alimet is a chemical used in chicken and cattle feed that contains ammonia. The result was extremely deadly.

Monett Utilities Superintendent Skip Schaller describes it as a "100 percent kill," reports the Monett Times.

And Adam Boman, the lead on the investigation, tells the Joplin Globe that, basically, everything in the creek is dead.

See also: "Self-Reporting" Environmental Risks in Chemical Facilities Threaten Missouri River

"It's a complete kill between Monett and Pierce City, and a partial kill after Pierce City because of springs that are diluting whatever it is that is killing the fish," he says. "We are talking about thousands of fish."

A full investigation of how this happened is supposed to be released this week. But the Globe reports that on May 16, a spill at the Tyson plant caused untreated wastewater to get into the Monett sewage water treatment facility. The city's facility is unequipped to handle high levels of ammonia, so the Alimet stayed in the water. The "treated" water got dumped into Clear Creek and started killing the fish.

"When that happened, the ammonia in the waste coming into the plant wasn't being treated, so we were having higher ammonia amounts going out into the stream," Schaller tells OzarksFirst.com. "Fish are susceptible to ammonia, to their gills, and it was enough to be toxic to them there within a few miles stretch of the plant."

"We figured it had something to do with the sewer plant at Monett because the water smelled like sewer water," resident Patricia Holloway tells the Joplin Globe. "It was too strong to handle. It was enough to make your eyes tear up, it was so bad. This is not a joke. It was that bad."

Tyson Foods, however, is not taking full responsibility just yet. In a statement released last week, spokesman Worth Sparkman said: "We are working cooperatively with city and state officials as they investigate this matter. We are awaiting additional details so we can understand if our operations played a role in what happened."

The incident happened just days after the company agreed to pay a $305,000 fine to the U.S. Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency for spilling 210,000 gallons of chicken sludge into a river in Statesville, North Carolina.

See also: Somebody Dumped 600+ Dead Chickens into Rural Missouri Creek

The company was initially only fined $8,375 by the North Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

Follow Ray Downs on Twitter:

E-mail him at Ray.Downs@RiverfrontTimes.com.


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43 comments
Theirry Less
Theirry Less

I used to work for Tyson's in Sedalia, Mo. That place made me stop buying product with their label. Also, they hire Mexicans and transport them to Sedalia illegally, then GIVE THEM a house, a car, set them up with government benefits and when someone calls INS, they hide the illegals in a secret room upstairs in the plant. Yea.. A real nice company. NOT!

PhilGorilla
PhilGorilla

"The Missouri Department of Natural Resources says that an ammonia leak from a Tyson Foods plant in southeast Missouri seeped into a freshwater creek and killed thousands of fish  Last week, residents in and around Monett -- a city about halfway between Joplin and Springfield ."

If you're geography is this bad, how can we trust your ecology?

Jennifer Falkner
Jennifer Falkner

Tyson just needs to be shut down. All the abuse of the animals and now this? When will people open their eyes and stop buying this crap? They disgust me to no end. Ridiculious.

Teresa Nienhaus
Teresa Nienhaus

I imagine not just all the fish are dead, but likely all living things (meaning the entire ecology of the stream.)

Susan Wagstaff
Susan Wagstaff

Let's think, fish die, water tastes strange.....

Liza Vader III
Liza Vader III

That's why we need to March Against Monsanto as a starter - label our foods and demand cleaner foods

Liza Vader III
Liza Vader III

People rather walk around zombie-like paying no attention to our food supply acting as brainwashed drones listening to media that the food is wholesome - idiots

Brandi Liebig-Vonderhaar
Brandi Liebig-Vonderhaar

So, let me get this straight: there is deadly ammonia in chicken & cattle feed, which is, in turn, fed to the animals that we eat? Chemicals should NOT have a place in food production!

Jerry Lintner
Jerry Lintner

SouthWEST Missouri . C'mon fact-checkers.......

Glenn Gibson
Glenn Gibson

What the fine is and what they actually pay is ussually alot less.

davidwanderson52
davidwanderson52

This company needs to be fined out of business.  Give them a billion dollar fine, and I bet you'll never have this problem again.

Chantel Baldwin
Chantel Baldwin

What to eat instead? Locally grown, humanely treated chicken from your nearby farmer. You'll pay more but it won't be polluted with chemicals.

Joe Thebeau
Joe Thebeau

Dumb question ... will they be fined and/or forced to property take care of this mess?

Laura Dee
Laura Dee

I don't even care if those chemicals are in the food. What I do care about is how careless Tyson is to the environment. People don't have to buy Tyson's products (I sure won't be from now on), but the environment has no say in what's done to it. So screw you, Tyson, for not giving a crap about the planet we all live on!!

Sheena Frost
Sheena Frost

Eli Shores, I was just telling you about Tyson chicken...

Sharon Walker
Sharon Walker

Well, Tyson, or the sewer treatment facility made a boo boo. Now they need to fix the problem. They should have to clean and restock the stream. Hard telling how much long term damage they have done to the ecosystem of that waterway. They should have to pay for studies to be done by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. They should also compensate the surrounding community for loss of resource. I know the people here in Jefferson County use the fish we catch as a food source. They don't buy fish at the store. There has to be consequences so that companies take these issues more seriously. I am so sick of companies operating in Missouri thinking that we are easy on environmental issues. This is happening all over the state. When Doe Run lead smelter was lead poisoning everyone in a five mile radius we, the people of Herculaneum and Pevely, formed a CAG group and demanded answers. Our kids tested OFF THE CHARTS with lead poisoning. So, what did the government do?....The EPA, the DNR, and the Health Department showed up to the meetings and acted as if they were there to protect the company, NOT look out for the good of the people and the environment. They continued to allow the poisoning to continue because the company is huge and the owner, Ira Rennert, is completely devoid of a conscience. They are still poisoning people in La Oroya, Peru. They build schools for the mentally retarded kids that they create from the lead poisoning. It's true. Look it up. That is how they operate. The Herculaneum plant finally closed Dec. 31, 2013, after a 10 year battle to get them to clean up their act.. They never could meet any Clean Air Act guidelines. As a student of Herculaneum High School, we would run track through yellow dusty air. It tasted like sucking on a book of matches. The sulfur dioxide was so thick that it like a yellow haze. Arsenic, cadmium, zinc, and nickel were also in the air. The parents were told by the health department: "Don't allow your children to play in the grass or dirt. Have them remove their shoes before entering the home. Wash hands and face after they have been outside." They told people this with a straight face. You cannot believe how corrupt the EPA is. It truly is unbelievable. If you really want to see some corrupt crap with the EPA...check out the reports on FRACKING. You will truly be amazed at how people can set their undrinkable tap water on fire. So unbelievable. We have a long way to go in this country to clean up our environment.

Lesley Cooper Pollard
Lesley Cooper Pollard

Haven't eaten Tyson foods for years becAuse of these chemicals and the extremely inhumane treatment of the chickens they raise. Their chickens are raised in factory farms stacked on top of each other and eat their own waste.... Then you eat it. FACT

Deb Woods
Deb Woods

Wow. When are we the people going to stop just hitting "like" and actually demand a safe & responsible food supply?!

Cory Hart
Cory Hart

Maybe those chemicals shouldnt be anywhere near food for human consumption.

Michelle Accardi
Michelle Accardi

Why is it Tyson keeps doing disgusting things and are still in business? Other than Walmarts label they are big on Tyson food, hmmmm. Theres something to think about.

Nick Palazzolo
Nick Palazzolo

don't care.. just bought some tyson chicken today!! great stuff. with a different food company coming out with a new article giving reasons for people to hate them, what are we eventually going to be eating?!

Jesda Ulati
Jesda Ulati

This is some third world shit. Nail them to the wall.

Eddie Gregs
Eddie Gregs

They only got fined 300,000 for that shit? Can we take a vote to make them drink that water for the rest of their lives

smdrpepper
smdrpepper

Wish they would have fined Faith Assembly of God in House Springs when they dumped chemicals into the creek I used to play in.  Back in the 80s they did that and killed everything.

PhilGorilla
PhilGorilla

Not a great way to convince people that your point of view is the right one.

jaco1175
jaco1175 topcommenter

Eat a dick you third world libertarian fucktard. people like you should be shipped off to somalia

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