CAMBRIDGE — Three Maryland environmental groups sent a notice of intent to bring a lawsuit against Valley Proteins on Tuesday, April 13 for alleged violating its wastewater permit.

Valley Proteins is an industrial plant in Linkwood that renders poultry carcasses into protein for animal feed.

The environmental groups said monitoring and inspection reports have indicated wastewater leaking from two wastewater storage lagoons on the plant property may be causing high nitrate levels in monitoring wells and polluting the groundwater.

The notice of intent is being brought by ShoreRivers and Dorchester Citizens for Planned Growth, and Chesapeake Bay Foundation. ShoreRivers and DCPG are represented by Chesapeake Legal Alliance. The groups said industrial polluters can be held accountable through citizen suits under the Clean Water Act for impairing the public’s right to clean, swimmable and fishable waters. The notice gives Valley Proteins 60 days to potentially settle claims under the Clean Water Act before a formal lawsuit is filed against the company.

The groups allege that for more than 10 years, DCPG volunteers have been sampling water quality near the plant and have found higher-than-average levels of E. coli bacteria, nitrogen, and phosphorus as well as low levels of dissolved oxygen in the river.

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