DEP fines Empire Kosher

MIFFLINTOWN – Empire Kosher Poultry has been fined $99,000 for repeated violations involving liquid and solid waste, according to documents from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection obtained by The Sentinel on Tuesday.

The DEP documents indicate the violations date back to 2008 and included the discharge of industrial wastewater into the Juniata River, in addition to chemical spills and improper storage of solid waste.

Empire Kosher agreed to the DEP findings and agreed to take corrective action, in addition to paying the above civil penalty. The money from the fine will be directed to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Clean Water Fund.

The first violation in May 2008 revealed that proper records were not available nor maintained, certain dissolved air flotation units were not functional, secondary containment was not provided around storage containers in front of the feather pit, and chemical spills and process waste were observed around the feather pit.

Subsequent inspections since that time revealed a series of violations, including inspections in July and August of 2012 when DEP found there had been clumps of solids discharged into the Juniata River from Empire’s chlorine contact tank.

The company retained the services of a professional engineer to perform an audit of the wastewater treatment plant and its operation to identify any performance or operational issues.

Empire also retained the services of a certified Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator to assist and oversee operation of its treatment plant.