Ask ADEM to Limit Locust Fork Pollution by Tyson

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Ask ADEM to Limit Tyson’s Pollution to the Locust Fork

Click here for an update about the 11/19/19 Public Hearing

The new draft wastewater discharge permit for Tyson Farm’s Blountsville chicken processing plant is up for public comment: NPDES Permit Number AL0001449.  This permit allows the discharge of bacteria and nutrient pollution to Graves Creek, a tributary of the Locust Fork, and to the Locust Fork, a tributary of the Black Warrior River.  Graves Creek and the Locust Fork are already subject to a cap on the amount of nutrient pollution they can absorb (“Total Maximum Daily Load”) since they are both already impaired by it.  Nutrient pollution can cause excessive growth of algae, among other problems.  The proposed discharges will occur upstream of popular public recreation areas on Graves Creek (Mardis Mill Falls) and the Locust Fork (King’s Bend, the new public access and scenic overlook at Hwy 79/US 231 bridge, the whitewater paddling section, and the Swann Covered Bridge).

Submit written comments to: Russell A. Kelly, Chief, Permits and Services Division, ADEM, 1400 Coliseum Blvd, P.O. Box 301463; Montgomery, Alabama 36110-2400 or via email to [email protected].  Comment deadline: 8/12/19 by 5pm

Black Warrior Riverkeeper is asking ADEM to include the following requirements in the final permit:

1. better end-of-pipe limits for nutrients, bacteria, and biochemical oxygen demand;
2. the implementation of best available technology to treat pollutants;
3. limits on bacteria in plant stormwater;
4. treatment and pollution limits that reflect the importance of Graves Creek and the Locust Fork to the community and local economy;
5. treatment and pollution limits that reflect the downstream presence of threatened or endangered species and their federally protected habitat;
5. treatment and pollution limits that reflect the downstream presence of impaired streams and intention to reverse their impairments

Please include comments on your use and enjoyment of Graves Creek and the Locust Fork, and the importance of them being cleaned up for recreation, wildlife, and the local economy. Additionally, please ask ADEM to hold a public hearing near the plant on a date and time that will allow interested community members to attend.  You can send comments now by clicking this link, or you can write your own letter and send it to Mr. Kelly at ADEM via email or surface mail.   

Please note that this Tyson facility on the Locust Fork is not the same as the Tyson facility on the Mulberry Fork that recently caused a massive wastewater spill and fishkill.  To learn more about that problem and to take action, click here.

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