Tyson Fined For Ammonia Accidents At Midwest Plants - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Tyson Fined For Ammonia Accidents At Midwest Plants

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Tyson Foods has agreed to pay nearly $4 million in fines for violating the Clean Air Act due to chemical releases at plants in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.

The civil penalty stems from accidental anhydrous ammonia releases at eight plants between 2006 and 2010. The chemical is used in the refrigeration process and according to a news release by the Environmental Protection Agency, Tyson failed to follow industry standards to test or replace safety relief valves or abide by the risk management program spelled out in the Clean Air Act.

The EPA says exposure to anhydrous ammonia vapors can cause eye damage, lung damage and even death. The settlement stems from a series of separate incidents between 2006 and 2010 in which accidental releases of anhydrous ammonia at Tyson facilities resulted in injuries, and one death. The incidents happened at plants in South Hutchinson, Kansas; Sedalia, Missouri; Hutchinson, Kansas; Perry, Iowa; Omaha, Nebraska; Emporia, Kansas and Madison, Nebraska.

Tyson is the world's largest processor of chicken, beef and pork. In our area, it operates plants in Columbus Junction, Iowa and Joslin, Illinois.