LOGANTON, PA. – After temporarily shutting down at the end of February, Nicholas Meat, a Loganton, Pa.-based beef processor, said it partially reopened on March 2 and went fully operational on March 3.
The company previously decided to stop operations following a Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) order that told Nicholas Meat to cease land application of food processing residuals (FPR) on snow-covered fields.
“We continue to have discussions with the DEP and remain hopeful that we can find a workable solution,” said Brian Miller, director of sustainability at Nicholas Meat. “We know that our situation is very weather-dependent right now and, while we’re able to reopen briefly, we’re unsure of what the future will bring.”
In previous statements, Nicholas said that it practiced the FPR application for more than a decade during the winter months.
Pennsylvania DEP spokesperson Megan Lehman also sent a response to the news that Nicholas Meat was reopening.
“DEP is currently working with Nicholas Meat to explore all available options, and while we understand that some legal options are not deemed to be practically viable at this time, other options remain under investigation,” she said in a statement. “DEP disputes the suggestion recently made by Nicholas Meat that DEP’s February 9 enforcement action was somehow sudden and surprising. While DEP’s first goal is always to achieve voluntary compliance, multiple enforcement actions have been necessary in recent years, and Nicholas Meat has had ample opportunity to understand the applicable regulations.”
The company said that the temporary closure affected more than 350 employees and 150 contract workers. Nicholas said it paid employees during the shutdown and used the time for additional training.