Concerns over Tyson in Virginia

In Virginia a small group gathered Thursday to express their dissatisfaction with Tyson Foods plans for poultry houses. 

The group called Mighty Earth Campaign claims Tyson is responsible for the high nitrate levels and wants them to be more sustainable. 

The campaign is gaining traction among local residents who are concerned about their community that is home to several poultry houses. 

Residents want to ensure that if Tyson does build additional chicken houses in the area that they address their concerns about water run off. 

"We're hear with the [The Mighty Earth's] Clean Up Tyson Campaign to make sure that Tyson doesn't just come in and roll things over and get away with no clean up," said Lucia von Reusner, director of the campaign. 

"They have to be held accountable for making sure that their pollution doesn't end up in our water ways," von Reusner said. 

Tyson spoke with 47 ABC and said it is not expanding its operations in the Delmarva region. However, they are planning on building modern chicken houses that will improve the company's sustainability record. 

Tyson's full statement was as followed: 

This group’s claims about our company are misleading. We’re not expanding our operations in the Delmarva region. We are building new modern chicken houses that will replace older housing that will no longer be used. Additionally, our operations account for only about 10% of the total chicken production in the Delmarva region.
The new houses farmers are building are of modern design, which means they are more efficient and use less energy. Our contract farmers are encouraged to plant vegetative buffers around the houses, like trees and shrubs. Farmers on the Eastern Shore who apply poultry litter to their own farms are required to have nutrient management plans to ensure the litter is used properly as a fertilizer and limit the amount of nutrients entering the soil.
Water is a precious natural resource, that’s why we’re going to require farmers building new chicken houses to use the Columbia aquifer whenever possible, which replenishes more rapidly than others.
Categories: Local News, Virginia