River Valley Ingredients, formerly American Proteins, issued a statement Monday about the partially treated effluent that was discharged last week into the the Dave Young Creek, which flows to Mulberry Fork.
The effluent, including sewage and other wastewater, spilled Thursday into the water.
The release read:
"We deeply regret the incident on the Mulberry Fork, near Hanceville, Alabama. We’ve been working diligently and cooperatively with the Alabama Department of Environmental Management and Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. We are working to make things right, and have an environmental contractor onsite and in the waterways, actively working on clean-up and the collection of fish impacted by this incident.
Monitoring today show that the dissolved oxygen levels are back to normal in the waterways, which is better for all wildlife connected to the creeks and rivers.
Our core values include serving as stewards of the environment — in Alabama and every community where we operate — and we take that obligation seriously. Our focus is to deal with the issue at hand, so it’s too early to speculate on our longer-term remediation efforts, but we want the community to know we will be considering several opportunities."
The environmental organization Black Warrior Riverkeepers is also monitoring the situation and continues to raise question about the spillage.
"We know that there has been a fish kill report, and turtles, as far as 30 miles from the River Valley Ingredients plant," said Riverkeeper Nelson Brooke. "We know it will be some time before the official report is made public. If snapping turtles, gars and large catfish, which are all very tough, are showing up dead, you can bet it will affect aquatic amphibian life. You have to be concerned about the longterm. There are a lot of unanswered questions, including when will it be safe to use recreationally or to fish?"