A poultry processing plant in New York has admitted disposing of chicken parts and other waste in storm drains and sewers.

The Kiryas Joel Poultry Processing Plant, Inc. and Kiryas Joel Meat Market Corporation have entered into a consent decree settling a civil lawsuit that was filed by the Manhattan U.S. Attorney and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Legal papers accused the defendants of violating the Clean Water Act at a poultry processing plant in Orange County that supplies kosher chicken to Orthodox Jews.

Commenting on the case, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara stated: "For years, the defendants flouted the law by repeatedly discharging waste from their poultry slaughterhouse into the waters of the United States. Today's consent decree will ensure that the defendants do not resume these illegal practices in the future and requires them to pay a significant financial penalty for their misconduct."

Under the terms of the consent decree, the defendants will pay a civil penalty of $330,000. They also agreed to conduct ongoing monitoring and recording of pretreatment operations and to submit to the EPA an emergency operation plan and a corrective plan of action to prevent future violations of the Clean Water Act.

EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck went into more detail on how the slaughterhouse contravened federal regulations designed to maintain the integrity of U.S. waters.

"From disposing of chicken parts and fats directly into storm drains and sewers, to discharging animal waste into Ramapo River tributaries, this poultry processing plant has a long history of violating the Clean Water Act," she explained.

"This legal agreement and fine will help protect the Ramapo River," Enck added.