Community members seek water pollution resolution; Tyson shuts it down

A small team of community members are battling against the country’s largest meat producer. 

It's all a part of a nationwide campaign to push Tyson Foods to address a specific issue right here on the shore. 

In Springdale, Arkansas, Tyson’s had their annual shareholders meeting this morning. In that meeting, they were voting to possibly adopt a water stewardship policy nationwide.

And at the exact same time, concerned citizens were rallying in Accomack County in a campaign called "Clean It Up Tyson". This press conference was led by Mighty Earth Eastern Shore and they are trying to protect waters through this resolution.

Those for the plan say the resolution is quite simple. 

Concerned business owner, David Fick tells us, "It says that they need to come with a method in reducing nitrate contribution to the water and there are ways to do this and they actually claim in their response that they're already doing it. So I don't see why they don't agree other than, we are also asking for timelines and specific commitments that are measurable to reduce their nitrate contribution to the water."

We're told the influx of chicken plants popping up in Accomack County can be making quite the impact on our waters. 

"Well there’s tremendous growth and with that growth comes from runoff of chicken waste and nutrients out of the chicken process and what that does it increases the load on our streams in such a way that we can’t grow oysters anymore," Fick says. 

Those in favor of the plan say it's the expansion of 250 chicken houses in the county that's raising eyebrows. Each person at the event expressed concerns of these new add ons, such as the possible impact on agriculture and tourism.

We're told the Tyson Shareholders voted down the resolution to implement a water stewardship policy. 

We asked for an interview from Tyson based on this resolution but received a statement instead. 

Tyson says" We understand the importance of water stewardship, and the Company has implemented a wide range of initiatives to reduce risks of water contamination. The Company's present policies, procedures, and plans appropriately and adequately address the concerns raised in the proposal and the adoption of another policy is unnecessary and duplicative."

Categories: Local News, Virginia