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May 23, 2016 9:15 AM

Mustard maker pays $1 million for polluting Greenville stream that leads to Souhegan River


GREENVILLE - The makers of Old Dutch Mustard must pay nearly $1 million for polluting a stream that leads to the Souhegan River to the point it is void of aquatic life, state officials said.

Pilgrim Foods, which makes Old Dutch, must also spend $898,000 on corrective actions on its plant for violations of the state's Water Pollution and Waste Disposal Act and the Hazardous Waste Management Act.

According to the state Attorney General's office and Department of Environment Services, the plant manufactures juice from concentrate, vinegar, and mustard at the facility and the acetic acid coming from the plant caused significant water quality violations in an unnamed stream that flows through the facility into the Souhegan River.

Since October 2013, the state has documented over 90 instances where the pH in the stream was lower, meaning more acidic, than the level allowed by state law. In addition Pilgrim released phosphoric acid and sodium hydroxide, both hazardous wastes, into the stream. The result of these ongoing violations has severely impacted the unnamed
stream such that it is void of aquatic life, state officials said.

Under the consent decree with the state, Pilgrim has agreed to hire an independent audit team who will inspect the facility and make recommendations for corrective actions to improve the environmental safety and operations at the facility, which Pilgrim must then implement.

“It is critically important for businesses to comply with all applicable environmental laws and rules to protect the State’s water quality. I am pleased to see this positive movement and look forward to supporting Pilgrim’s future efforts to improve the environment and public health of New Hampshire,” said Assistant Commissioner of Environmental Services Clark Freise.


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