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Tyson Foods Paying $4.25 Million to Settle Toxic Gas Exposure Complaint
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Now only if most settlements were so blazing fast, the economy would have rebounded sooner without any doubt. It was only on Thursday that the U.S. Department of Justice filed a complaint alleging Tyson Foods and its affiliated entities failed to comply with the Clean Air Act with refrigeration systems at more than two dozen of the company’s facilities leaking anhydrous ammonia and causing one death as well as worker injury and property damage.

Before the day was over, Tyson Foods agreed to pay a penalty of $3.95 million and agreed to pay another $300,000 to buy equipment that would enable fire departments respond to chemical emergencies in the nine communities where Tyson operates its plants.

Claims settled.

  
What
Where


The DOJ brought the case on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency for toxic gas exposure at Tyson Food facilities in four states. The instant case was filed at a federal court in Missouri.

Assistant Attorney General Ignacia Moreno said in a statement following the settlement, “This settlement will protect workers at Tyson facilities throughout Kansas, Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska that use anhydrous ammonia, and make the communities surrounding these 23 facilities safer.”

Kevin Igli, chief environmental officer at Tyson issued a statement saying, “We strive to operate our facilities responsibly, so after learning of the EPA’s concerns we immediately made improvements and cooperated with EPA officials throughout the process.”

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EPA built the complaint after EPA inspectors and Occupational Safety Health Administration found missing sensors, uncalibrated alarms, corroded valves and many other issues exposing Tyson Food workers to anhydrous ammonia.

Anhydrous ammonia vapors are known to cause eye damage, skin complications, respiratory tract complications, temporary blindness and other health issues.



However, while settling the complaint, at the same time, Tyson Foods observed that its officials “dispute many of the EPA’s assertions, but acknowledge there was a period when some refrigeration improvement projects fell behind schedule and Tyson did not meet all the obligations required.”



 

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