St. Joseph tannery notified of water violations

Friday, August 28, 2009 | 11:11 a.m. CDT; updated 12:26 p.m. CDT, Friday, August 28, 2009

ST. JOSEPH — The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has notified a St. Joseph tannery that it is violating the state's clean water law.

The DNR says the plant's owner, National Beef Leathers, allowed contaminated storm water to flow from the tannery into state waters and the Missouri River.

The department said in a news release that an inspection found the water contained some contaminants, but none exceeded safe limits. National Beef Leathers is working with the DNR to comply with the state law.

Samples also showed the water did not contain chromium 6, a known carcinogen. Lawsuits filed against the tannery and its current and former owners allege sludge produced at the tannery for decades contained the chemical .

The lawsuits claim the sludge was spread on area farmland as fertilizer and caused a rash of tumors in the Cameron area.


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