According to the DesMoines Register, the Environmental Protection Agency has sued a kosher meatpacker, claiming it repeatedly exceeded pollutant limits at its plant in Postville.
The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court, alleges that Agriprocessors Inc. repeatedly violated the federal Clean Water Act and related pre-treatment regulations.
The lawsuit follows allegations by an animal rights group that Agriprocessors uses improper slaughtering practices.
In the lawsuit, the federal government seeks an injunction against further violations and unspecified civil penalties.
The suit also alleges that discharges from Agriprocessors have caused the city to violate effluent limits specified in its waste-water discharge permit. It also claims that Agriprocessors failed to meet reporting requirements for anhydrous ammonia used at the plant.
The company's attorney, Jay Eaton of Des Moines, said the government based its allegations on faulty data.
"EPA previously determined the waste-water sampling methods used by the city were improper, yet those very samples are the basis for the suit allegations," he said.
He also said the government refuses to use samples from days the company had no or low production.
"That artificially raises average data, which the federal government then uses to allege violations," Eaton said.
Agriprocessors came under attack earlier this week when People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals filed a formal complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture for alleged violations of a federal livestock slaughter law.
The company defended its polices, saying the process strictly adheres to federal guidelines and is overseen by rabbinic leaders committed to humane treatment.