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March 1, 2005, press release
Still Polluting After All These Years

Based on records on file with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (KC Regional Office, NE Regional Office, Central Office/Water Pollution Control Program, the Missouri Air Conservation Commission), the US EPA, USDA, the US Department of Justice, the Missouri Department of Economic Development, and state and federal courts, Premium Standard, based in Kansas City with hog-production facilities in Missouri’s Mercer, Putnam, and Sullivan counties and a slaughterhouse in Sullivan County, continues to foul the air and water.
While Premium Standard and its political supporters are wont to claim that “all the problems are in the past”, a review of the official records shows otherwise:

•    Premium Standard Farms (hog production) has had spills of hog feces and urine up to January 31, 2005 (no files were available beyond that date). Last year, Premium Standard Farms had 25 documented spills.

•    Premium Standard Foods (the slaughterhouse) was cited for causing the water quality of the East Fork of Locust Creek - downstream of the discharge from the slaughterhouse - to become impaired due to “chronic chloride”. The standard for this pollutant, used to kill bacteria in sewage, was exceeded on at least five occasions during the previous three years (2001-2004). MODNR records on this were dated “11/22/04”.

•    During the period July 1, 2004, to December 23, 2004, there were 148 complaints filed with MODNR’s Air Pollution Control Program (APCP). The complaints were primarily of noxious odors being emitted from Premium Standard’s hog-production facilities and the slaughterhouse. MODNR took no action as a result of these complaints. The typical response of MODNR/APCP was “No on-site investigation made….”. Odor is caused by airborne particles and a recent study by Johns Hopkins University shows that some of these particles are disease-causing bacteria.

Premium Standard and its advocates claim economic benefits derive from its facilities. Yet the County Clerk of Sullivan County stated publicly that “The financial condition of the county continues to decline at an alarming pace…”
Every statistic related to economic well-being shows that the decline is widespread, and social data show similar problems: in Sullivan County, the number of students enrolled in the free/reduced cost lunch program increased by 16.4%, teenage birth rates increased by 7.5%, and child abuse and neglect increased by a whopping 56.8%.

Summary: Premium Standard is still polluting, the costs far outweigh any benefits.

For more information, contact: Ken Midkiff, 573-881-0553