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Email Content: Poultry Industry News, Comments and more by Simon M. Shane

Valley Proteins Discharge Permit in Maryland Challenged


The Maryland Department of the Environment recently issued a wastewater discharge permit for the Valley Proteins plant in Linkwood, MD.  This National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit will be effective February 1st 2023 through January 31st, 2028. This will permit the facility to release large quantities of treated wastewater into the Transquaking River, a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. The Company is required to meet progressively strict pollution limits after a three-year compliance period.


Five environmental groups including the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Eastern Shore have filed a lawsuit in Dorchester County Circuit Court seeking a reversal of the state permit. The petitioners claim that the Maryland Department of the Environment relied on insufficient data to grant the permit. It is also claimed that the quantity of pollutants released will have long-term deleterious effects on the Transquaking River and watershed.


Valley Proteins has a history of noncompliance with the Maryland Department of the Environment. The facility was ordered to suspend operations in December 2021 to effect numerous upgrades of their water treatment facility to reduce discharge.  In September 2022 Valley Proteins reached a settlement with the state following alleged illegal discharge of pollutants including ammonia, phosphorus and other compounds into the Transquaking River that occurred over a year.  According to court documents, Valley Proteins demonstrated failure to implement a stormwater pollution plan, to apply best management practices and were responsible for unauthorized discharge of wastewater, sludge and solids in violation of an emissions permit.

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