Processing Magazine

ConAgra Foods fined for nitrate pollution

September 20, 2012

HERMISTON, Ore. — The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality fined ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston $1,625 for nitrate pollution at the company’s food processing plant in Hermiston.

ConAgra operates a frozen fruit and vegetable processing plant in Hermiston, as well as a sewage treatment plant under a Department of Environmental Quality permit for a water pollution control facility. The permit places specific limits on amounts of various pollutants that may be disposed at the site.

The company disposes of treated effluent from the plant by sub-surface irrigation under grass landscaping at the site.

The Lamb Weston plant violated the permit in June 2012 by exceeding the limit for disposal of nitrate, a pollutant generated in sewage treatment. DEQ issued the penalty because inadequately treated sewage poses a threat to public health and the environment.