Worker at Pork Plant Gets Six Weekends in Prison

Jul 21, 2015

A Remsen, Iowa man will spend six weekends in prison for violating the Clean Water Act. Michael J. Wolf pleaded guilty last year to one count of knowingly discharging a pollutant into the west branch of the Floyd River. 

Wolf was employed as the maintenance manager at Sioux-Preme Packing Co., a pork processor based in Sioux City. On October 23 and 24, for about 11 hours, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources says Wolf intentionally discharged blood, fecal material, animal guts and cleaning chemicals from the company's Sioux Center plant into the Floyd.

The discharge resulted in a 190,058 fish kill valued at $20,282.94. Wolf then lied to the DNR's emergency response team and the resulting delay likely worsened the spill's effects. 

U.S. Attorney Kevin Techau for Iowa's Northern District says this is the first time in about five years someone has been criminally prosecuted for crimes relating to a fish kill in his jurisdiction.

"Cases that show the violations of environmental law that are done with a purpose or dishonesty are very serious because they impact communities now and then for years to come," Techau says.

Phones calls to Natural Food Holdings, Sioux-Preme's parent company, and to Wolf were not returned.