Groups Sue Keystone Protein Company for Nitrogen Discharges

Groups Sue Keystone Protein Company for Nitrogen Discharges
that Violate Clean Water Act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 29, 2019                                            

Contacts: Jim Hecker, Public Justice, 202-797-8600 x225 or
Ted Evgeniadis, Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper, 609-571-5278 or

Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper and Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association (Riverkeeper) today filed a citizen suit against Keystone Protein Company for its violations of the Clean Water Act (CWA) that are damaging the health of Susquehanna River and Chesapeake Bay ecosystems, and livelihoods that depend upon those ecosystems. Riverkeeper alleges that Keystone has violated the nitrogen limits in its permit in every month since October 2014 by discharging over 350,000 pounds of nitrogen in excess of its permit limits.

Keystone operates a poultry rendering facility in Fredericksburg, PA that discharges into a tributary of Little Swatara Creek, which flows into the Susquehanna River. That river contributes nearly half of the nitrogen load flowing into the Chesapeake Bay. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has designated Keystone as a significant discharger of nitrogen to the Bay. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has listed the Bay as impaired because of excess nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment. Those pollutants cause algae blooms that consume oxygen and create “dead zones” where fish and shellfish cannot survive, block sunlight that is needed for underwater grasses, and smother aquatic life on the bottom.

“Our organization is taking legal action today to repair the health of Little Swatara Creek, listed as impaired by the state. This plant has been polluting our water and must be held accountable in replacing its old infrastructure with modern technology to comply with its state-issued discharge permit. The Keystone Protein Company must reverse the harm caused to our water immediately. There are livelihoods that depend on clean water and many who enjoy the Lower Susquehanna River and Chesapeake Bay. If you’re going to pollute, you will have to pay the price,” said Ted Evgeniadis of Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper.

“For years, Keystone has kept its old, polluting treatment system and failed to upgrade its system with available technology that can meet its permit limits,” said Jim Hecker, Environmental Enforcement Director for Public Justice in Washington D.C, who is co-counsel in the case. “It is long past time for this plant to comply with the law.”

Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper is also represented by Steve Harvey with Steve Harvey Law LLC in Philadelphia, PA.

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Lower Susquehanna RIVERKEEPER Association (LSRA), established in 2005, is a grassroots organization, home to the Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper. LSRA operates as a membership-based, mission-driven organization dedicated to improving and protecting the ecological integrity of the Susquehanna Watershed and Chesapeake Bay.

2019.07.29 Complaint

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