Perdue reaches $179,000 settlement with state environmental agency

Department of Natural Resources and Environmental ControlDelaware’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) and Perdue AgriRecycle, LLC have entered into a settlement agreement that resolves environmental violations at the company’s Seaford composting facility.

The agreement assesses a penalty of $179,429, which includes $4,429 from Perdue AgriRecycle, LLC for DNREC cost recovery.

Perdue’s permit requires quarterly reporting of analytical testing of compost batches to ensure that it is fit to be sold. The problem emerged when the company provided its lab reports to DNREC in a piecemeal manner. The Division of Waste & Hazardous Substances questioned the compost batch samples and their chain-of-custody.

Chain-of-custody helps to make sure a sample is handled in such a way as to maintain quality control and prevents introducing potential contamination into the process of moving the sample from the field to the lab.

In addition to the piecemeal data reporting, there were other instances where incorrect data was provided to the agency as part of Perdue’s quarterly reporting process. In these instances, subsequent review of data showed that the material in question exceeded allowable levels of chemicals including chromium VI and fecal bacteria.

The settlement agreement directs Perdue to change how it reports as well as to clarify how reports will be provided to DNREC.

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