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Sioux City Journal

Chinese-owned food processor in South Dakota fined for violations, plans upgrades


News Staff - December 7, 2018

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) – At the same time Chinese-owned Smithfield Foods is investing $45 million in its South Dakota operations, it being fined for wastewater violations.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources says Smithfield violated its surface water discharge permit in August.

The penalty includes $26,900 for surface water quality violations and more than $26,000 for laboratory costs incurred by the agency.

Under the current planned upgrades, Smithfield’s Sioux Falls, SD location will be updated with additional room for a seasoned ground pork department and renovations will be made to increase the speed of bacon production. The expansion is expected to add 70 jobs. The updates are scheduled to be finished in 2019, with work on a hog barn set to wrap in the fall.

According to news reports, the company has already invested $73 million in the former John Morrell site during the last five years.

The most recent violation was reported by Smithfield in August. According to records, problems at its Sioux Falls wastewater plant was causing higher-than-allowed ammonia levels to be discharged into the Big Sioux River.

South Dakota’s DENR said the ammonia levels violated the permitted daily maximum limit for seven, consecutive  days. Smithfield says there was no risk to humans or wildlife.



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