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1 Million Gallon Wastewater Discharge from Mountaire Facility

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - State environmental officials say a southern Delaware poultry processing facility with a history of wastewater violations has reported an accidental discharge of up to 1 million gallons of partially treated wastewater.

Officials say Arkansas-based Mountaire Farms reported that the release was discovered about 5 a.m. Wednesday after a wastewater system component failed. Mountaire says the release was contained onsite, with no discharge to nearby Swann Creek.

Last year, Mountaire agreed to pay a $420,000 civil penalty and offer an alternative water supply to nearby residents whose wells have been contaminated with high levels of nitrates.  In a consent decree with state officials, the company also agreed to address problems with the wastewater treatment system at its Millsboro plant.

Mountaire is also being sued by area residents complaining of water pollution.

Don Rush is the News Director at Delmarva Public Media. An award-winning journalist, Don reports major local issues of the day, from sea level rise, to urban development, to the changing demographics of Delmarva.