Non-Profit Sues Washington Slaughterhouse Facility for Pollution Contributions

Waste Action Project, represented by Smith & Lowney, filed a lawsuit against Perdue Foods LLC, which operates a Washington slaughterhouse facility, alleging the facility discharges more than its limit for biological oxygen demand and is in violation of the permit it acquired to run its waste and other discharge through the sewage facility.

“Waste Action Project’s members are reasonably concerned about the effects of excess discharges of oxygen demanding substances and other pollutants from Defendant’s facility on aquatic species and wildlife that Plaintiff’s members observe and enjoy,” the complaint stated. It alleged the plaintiffs are concerned about the ability of the sewage plant to handle the waste and the excess of pollutants that decrease its members’ enjoyment of the Skagit River and other areas in the vicinity.

The plaintiff claims the receiving waters from the plant are used for recreational activities and aesthetic enjoyment, which is “diminished by the polluted state” of the water. It claimed the defendant has had other violations similar to the current problems and that the violations were avoidable if Perdue Foods were diligent.

Perdue Foods has a pretreatment permit, as allowed by the Clean Water Act, which authorizes pollutant discharges from their facility to navigable waters using the Mount Vernon city sewage treatment plant. It allows the facility to discharge and process wastewater, stormwater, and other pollutants, according to specific conditions and limits.

The non-profit organization claimed they are lacking information needed to accomplish their efforts to improve water quality in the area because the defendant has not kept records as required for compliance with its Clean Water Act permit.

Waste Action Project is a non-profit corporation and “is dedicated to protecting and preserving the environment of Washington State, especially the quality of its waters, and ensuring corporations follow the letter and spirit of environmental laws,” according to the complaint. It alleges its members are injured by the actions of Perdue foods.

Waste Action Project asks that the defendant be enjoined from operation of their facility and allow the plaintiff to implement a plan to help them comply with the Clean Water Act.