New HampshireDepartment of JusticeOffice of the Attorney General

News Release

For Immediate Release
May 23, 2016

Contact:
Mary E. Maloney, Assistant Attorney General
(603) 271-3679

Old Dutch Mustard Co., Inc., d/b/a Pilgrim Foods fined $949,000 for Hazardous Waste Violations

Attorney General Joseph A. Foster and Assistant Commissioner Clark Freise of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services ("NHDES") announce that the Hillsborough County Superior Court South approved a consent decree between the State and Old Dutch Mustard Co., Inc., d/b/a/ Pilgrim Foods ("Pilgrim") resolving allegations of violations of the State's Water Pollution and Waste Disposal Act and the Hazardous Waste Management Act at Pilgrim's facility in Greenville. The decree requires Pilgrim to implement corrective actions at its Greenville facility and also assesses a total civil penalty of $ 949,000 to be paid as follows: $425,000 to the State's Hazardous Waste Clean-up Fund: $75,000 to the Rivers Management and Protection Fund for Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs); and the remaining $449,000 to be utilized as an Internal Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) against which Pilgrim can receive credit for implementing the corrective actions at its facility in Greenville. Because it is an internal SEP it is valued at a 2:1 ratio meaning that Pilgrim must spend $898,000 on corrective actions at the facility to receive full credit for the SEP.

Pilgrim, a New York corporation, operates a food manufacturing facility located at 68 Old Wilton Road in Greenville, New Hampshire. Pilgrim manufactures juice from concentrate, vinegar, and mustard at the facility. Acetic acid coming from Pilgrim's facility in Greenville has caused significant water quality violations in an unnamed stream that flows through the facility into the Souhegan River. Since October of 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. The State was seeking injunctive relief and civil penalties.

Under the Consent Decree, 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. Pilgrim has also agreed to (a) continue its water quality monitoring program at the facility; (b) test the unnamed stream several times a year for acetic acid and a number of other parameters; and (c) test the stream after completion of all the corrective actions to determine the biological health of the stream. Pilgrim will be allowed six years to implement all corrective actions and pay civil penalties.

"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 Freise.

The settlement agreement/consent decree Portable Document Format Symboland order Portable Document Format Symbolare attached.

Portable Document Format Symbol Portable Document Format (.pdf). Visit nh.gov for a list of free .pdf readers for a variety of operating systems.

New Hampshire Department of Justice
33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301
Telephone: 603-271-3658