environmental compliance

Protecting Resources Protects Our Business.

It is our foremost core value to comply with all applicable laws and regulations governing food safety, personnel safety, environmental safety, or any other applicable area of business. Furthermore, it is the corporate objective to practice "above and beyond" compliance in all of our business activities. As such, when our processing facilities expand, or when we see an opportunity to build a more robust, effective pollution control system, or when new permit requirements are enacted, we respond with the necessary improvements. We look first to making operational improvements (e.g., source reduction, waste minimization, etc.), but often times physical improvements are necessary. No matter the type of improvement – we attempt to do so in a sustainable manner. These efforts are led by a Corporate staff of environmental professionals and the majority of our processing plants are staffed with an Environmental Manager, a Wastewater Treatment Supervisor, and an Environmental Operations Team.

Land Nutrient Management

Storm Water Management

Managing Storm Water Nutrients

JBS has been doing land nutrient management planning well before it was required by law. Most of the manure produced at JBS Five Rivers Cattle Feeding is applied to the land of neighboring farms or composted by third party composters for the commercial compost market.

JBS applies all storm water to land that we own or control. Since the nutrients in storm water are less transportable, it requires that we very intensively manage the nutrients applied to the land, so that the land will be available for many years into the future. We employ three Certified Crop Consultants that ensure that the nutrients are utilized in a sustainable manner.

Waste Water Treatment

All of our facilities utilize best practice wastewater treatment systems or better. One objective of JBS is to include state-of-the-art technology in each system to provide a robust, compliant and efficient system that consistently goes above and beyond meeting regulatory limits.

Plainwell Partners With Watershed Group

Watershed Engineers

Plainwell Watershed Engineers

The Plainwell, Michigan meat-packing facility has been a voluntary partner with a regional watershed initiative group to reduce phosphorous discharge in the local watershed since its inception. The partnership requires at least a 23% reduction in phosphorous discharged to the watershed throughout the summer season, on top of an already strict limit established by the state. The partnership also promotes sustainable practices to minimize phosphorous in storm water runoff at non-point sources, such as farms and municipalities. Not only do we consistently meet this objective, we exceed it. In 2009 we reduced the phosphorous by double that required by the partnership.

$6,000,000 Upgrade in Hyrum

JBS has made upgrades at our beef processing facility in Hyrum, Utah to meet new ammonia limits, total phosphorous limits, and total nitrogen limits. The roughly $6,000,000 upgrade primarily consists of a new clarifier, new aeration basins, new anoxic basins (used to remove nitrates), phosphorous removal, and solids handling improvements. JBS is going above and beyond in Hyrum, installing an UltraViolet Light Disinfection system to replace chlorine, a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) computerized management system, and providing for an enhanced denitrification system capable of nitrogen removal far exceeding permit limits.

Grand Island $6,000,000 Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade

Water Treatment Plant

Water Treatment Plant

The roughly $6,000,000 wastewater treatment plant upgrade to our Grand Island, Nebraska beef processing facility includes a new activated sludge treatment plant, primarily to remove ammonia biologically, and subsequently discharge to the local municipality sewer system. JBS is going above and beyond by installing anoxic basins (used to remove nitrates) and a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) computerized management system. In addition, the high-quality water the new system will produce can be more readily utilized in reuse applications at the facility, reducing consumption of potable water.

Storm Water Conveyance



Storm water runoff from an open lot feed yard carries manure with it. The manure, if not removed from the storm water, is stored in the retention pond and reduces the capacity of the retention pond to hold storm water. JBS Five Rivers Cattle Feeding, in cooperation with a third party, has designed a simple flow dissipater to place in storm water conveyances and spill ways to slow the flow of the water just enough to allow sediment to settle, without leaving standing water in the conveyance. In addition to settling solids, the flow dissipaters also spread the water across the entire conveyance, reducing erosion.

Dissolved Air Floatation Machine

Dissolved Air Floatation Machine

Dissolved Air Floatation Machine

JBS Five Rivers Cattle Feeding has a dissolved air floatation (DAF) machine at one feed yard that separates a percentage of the phosphorus from the storm water prior to land application. The phosphorus is removed in a very concentrated form which can be beneficially used. While we do not believe a DAF is appropriate in all situations, it is certainly a viable means of treating the water where conditions dictate.

Phosphorous Reduction in Pork Plants

Our pork plant in Worthington, Minnesota has identified and implemented best practices to reduce phosphorous loading in their wastewater discharge. Despite an increase in the use of phosphorous-containing ingredients, by focusing on operational improvements the facility has reduced phosphorous concentration in its wastewater discharge to its lowest level in more than three years, including an approximate 30% reduction in phosphorous in 2009. The facility continues diligently to pursue alternative technologies to further reduce phosphorous and nitrogen loading.

Air Pollution Control Systems

Many of our facilities produce typical air pollutants associated with fuel combustion and, due to the nature of our business, odors. We strive to install air pollutant control technology that addresses not only these regulated emissions but also minimizes offsite odors. Best available control technology is typically utilized, though each plant is unique due to varying circumstances.