P.S.F. reaches deal on environmental issues

by Bryan Salvage
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Premium Standard Farms, an independent operating company of Smithfield Foods Inc., has reached an agreement with Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster giving the company until July 31, 2012, to implement technology at its farms in northwest Missouri to reduce odor and address other environmental issues associated with its operations.

Approved by Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Robert M. Schieber, the agreement provides P.S.F. with a two-year extension of the 2004 court-sanctioned consent judgment that had required the company to install technology at several of its farms by July 31, 2010.

P.S.F. petitioned the court in July for a two-year extension of the deadline, noting that the final technologies – barn scrapers and the Sustainable Technology System (S.T.S.) – had only been approved by the court-appointed management advisory team in late April. The company said the delay in receiving approval of the technology didn't allow enough time to complete the installation at seven remaining farms by the deadline.

Under terms of the agreement, P.S.F. will install barn scrapers in at least 136 barns by July 31, 2011, and in 230 barns by Dec. 31, 2011. The company is then scheduled to finish installing barn-scraper systems by July 31, 2012, in all 366 barns that had been identified by the advisory team as requiring barn odor control. P.S.F. recently announced that it had already started the final phase.

"We would like to thank Attorney General Koster for all of his hard work in negotiating this extension, which now allows us to complete our efforts to install cutting-edge environmental technologies on our Missouri farms in a timely manner," said Bill Homann, PSF president. "This is the culmination of a decade of hard work and diligent research on the part of the state and our employees.

"During the next two years, we will continue to work closely with the state of Missouri as we successfully complete the process we began in 1999 of installing new, advanced technologies to reduce odor and address other environmental issues associated with our operations," he added.
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