Tyson plant requires strict permits to protect the environment

Tyson Foods (AP Photo/Danny Johnston, File)

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Many of you have reached out to us concerned about how the Tyson chicken plant could impact the environment, the soil we grow our food in, the air we breathe, and the water we drink. There is a strict permit process to open a poultry or livestock facility, and many factors have to do with the environment.

There has been a lot of talk about the interest in Tyson’s chicken plant and the money behind it.

“It certainly brings economic benefits or potential economic benefits in terms of jobs and all of that infusion into the area,” said Ron Graber, Extension Watershed Specialist.

“We have heard from over 30 communities who have expressed their interest in being considered for the project,” said Heather Lansdowne, KS Department of Agriculture.

But not much discussion on the regulations the company and those involved will need to follow to protect the earth. These include proximity to water sources, soil type, and how far down is groundwater.

“People, when they think of processing of any kind, you know, we start talking about is there going to be an odor, is there going to be waste,” said Graber.

Graber says the plant will need a strict permit with the state department of health and environment and a permit for safe water management. While some are concerned about what will happen with the waste, Graber says it could be used by local farmers.

“Poultry waste is very good fertilizer for crop fields and it’s something that has a lot of value,” said Graber.

Graber says he understands some citizens’ concerns, and that is why education on the project is key in communities that are interested.

“I think it goes back to having the discussion and talking about some of the pros and cons and what comes along with this type of industry,” said Graber.

Graber says if permits are violated, there are fines or the operation can be completely shut down.

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