State of Green Business

Perdue Farms and EPA Ink Pact to Protect Water

Perdue Farms and EPA Ink Pact to Protect Water

Poultry producer Perdue Farms Inc. and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency signed an agreement this week that is intended to help protect the waters in the mid-Atlantic and Southest from contamination.

The agreement enables Perdue, one of the country's leading poultry companies, to implement its clean water initiative — a program to provide training, assessment and related assistance to farms that produce poultry for the company.

"By signing this Clean Waters agreement, EPA is agreeing to work with Perdue to restore and protect surface and groundwater," said Jimmy Palmer, EPA Region 4 Regional Administrator in a statement Tuesday announcing the agreement.

"Runoff from improperly managed poultry farms can harm water quality, as well as plant and fish life," Donald S. Welsh, regional administrator for EPA mid-Atlantic region, said in the statement. "This agreement will ensure that Perdue contract growers, here and in the Southeast are in compliance with regulatory requirements and have reduced their impact on our waterways," Welsh said.

Company Chairman Jim Perdue said the agreement is an example of this firm's commitment to environmentally responsible practices. On the same day the pact was announced, Perdue published its 12-page Environmental Stewardship Information.

"Perdue Farms is committed to environmental stewardship and shares that commitment with the independent farm families who raise our birds," Perdue said in a statement. "We are pleased to work cooperatively with EPA to enhance the implementation of environmental best management practices on poultry farms."

The agreement is the result of a pilot program in Delaware, Maryland and Virginia operated by the EPA and Perdue since 2007. Data from that study helped form the basis for the broader project environmental management program covered by the agreement. The project is expected to run four years.