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FORMER CHAIRMAN OF PROCESSING COMPANY PLEADS GUILTY TO CLEAN WATER ACT VIOLATIONS
Release Date: 10/19/2000
FOR RELEASE: THURSDAY, OCT. 19, 2000
FORMER CHAIRMAN OF PROCESSING COMPANY PLEADS
GUILTY TO CLEAN WATER ACT VIOLATIONS
Tammy H. Etheridge, former Chairman of the Board of Directors of Central Industries, Inc., agreed to plead guilty on Oct. 13, to three counts of negligently violating the Clean Water Act (CWA) by failing to ensure that its wastewater treatment plant was operating properly. Each year the Central Industries facility in Forest, Miss., processes thousands of tons of entrails, blood, feathers and waste from chicken slaughterhouses. As a result, the company produces hundreds of thousands of gallons of wastewater each day that contains pollutants, including ammonia nitrogen, fecal coliform bacteria, oil, grease, suspended solids and rotting material that creates a high biological oxygen demand (BOD). In 1995 the facility violated its wastewater discharge permit when it discharged wastewater with higher than permitted levels of pollutants into Shockaloo Creek, a tributary of the Pearl River. Discharging wastewater with high levels of ammonia and BOD into waterways can be harmful to fish and other aquatic life. When sentenced, Etheridge faces a maximum of up to one year in prison and/or a fine of up to $100,000 on each count. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division, the FBI and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality. The case is jointly being prosecuted by the Environmental Crimes Section of the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Mississippi in Jackson.
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