BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Sispey Heritage Commission announced on June 18 that it will be suing Tyson Foods Inc. regarding the release of partially treated effluent into the Black Warrior River and Mulberry Fork in Alabama.

According to the group’s Facebook post, it will be suing over “the assault” on the Black Warrior River. Attorney Jud Allen will be the lead attorney for the group.  

The spill came from a nearby rendering facility owned by the company in Hanceville, Alabama.

State officials conservatively estimated 175,000 fish were killed following the spill.

In a June 14 investigation, the Alabama Dept. of Environmental Management (ADEM) said dead fish could be observed as far as 40 miles downstream from the facility. The department then reported depressed levels of dissolved oxygen up to 22 miles downstream from the facility. ADEM also said, “the release was reportedly due to the failure of an above-ground hose/pipe that was being used to pump the partially treated wastewater from one holding pond to another holding pond.”

When the initial spill was reported Tyson released a statement saying it deeply regretted the incident and that it would work diligently and cooperatively with the ADEM and Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

“We are working to make things right, and have an environmental contractor on-site and in the waterways, actively working on cleanup and the collection of fish impacted by this incident,” the Tyson statement said.