Lawsuit Says Greeley Meat Plant Violated Regulations for 5 Years
The cows might have been on to something when they said "eat mor chikin."
A lawsuit, filed by the Center for Biological Diversity and the Food and Water Watch, is alleging that the JBS Swift Beef Company in Greeley failed to meet state and federal guidelines for five years.
According to The Greeley Tribune, the slaughterhouse released wastewater from the company's holding pond into Colorado's water system for 60 months.
The lawsuit asserts that the water contained animal fat, meat, blood, E. coli, ammonia, and excrement, stemming from the 3,000 to 6,000 animals slaughtered there per day.
This adds up to 3 to 4 million gallons of wastewater each day, which is supposed to be treated and up to standard before entering Colorado's water system.
However, Food and Water Watch claims that JBS did not meet these standards for the last five years.
The organization is also disappointed in the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), which has not issued any fines to the company.
According to The Denver Channel, the CDPHE admits that JBS was "not in compliance for the five-year period" and that the department did not take action against the company.
Despite this, the state is not taking full responsibility, stating that JBS is ultimately at fault for violating regulations to begin with.
Action is what the lawsuit is asking for, with both environmental groups demanding that JBS fix the problem. They are also urging the courts to determine a financial penalty to make up for the last five years.
Given the length of time the company went unchecked, the penalty could be upwards of a million dollars.
Nikki Richardson, a spokesperson for JBS, said the company has been in compliance with state regulations throughout 2019, and will continue to ensure that standards are met.
As for the state, the CDPHE said the situation "could have been handled differently."
Litigation is still ongoing.