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March 2, 2017

Sunrise Farms to Pay $46,000 Penalty for Wastewater & Construction Permit Violations

Wastewater dumping at Osceola County chicken facility in 2015 resulted in large northwest Iowa fish kill

SIBLEY – A northwest Iowa egg-laying facility will pay a $46,000 penalty and is court-ordered to comply with certain state environmental laws, through an agreement with Attorney General Tom Miller.

District Court Judge Carl J. Petersen Wednesday approved a consent decree in Osceola County District Court that resolves an environmental lawsuit, also filed Wednesday, against Sunrise Farms Inc., of Harris.

Sunrise Farms operates facilities in Osceola County, including Harris and Sibley.

In September of 2015, following a complaint of a large fish kill in Stony Creek near Everly in Clay County, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources investigated and traced the source to a Sunrise Farms operation in Harris. The DNR determined wastewater from the company flowed into a tributary of Stony Creek and killed an estimated 163,000 fish over an 18-mile stretch.

As part of the consent decree agreement, Sunrise admits that there is sufficient evidence for a court to find that the company dumped as much as 12 1,500-gallon truckloads of wastewater onto a cornfield, bypassing its wastewater lagoons.

Sunrise also admits there is sufficient evidence for a court to find that the company failed to obtain a required construction permit prior to building two confinement buildings at its operation in Sibley.

Sunrise Farms is affiliated with Sonstegard Foods Company in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

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