Cartago pork plant closed due to water contamination

A pork processing plant in Cartago has been ordered closed because of contamination of the Quebrada Barahona that flows into the Río Coris, said the Tribunal Ambiental Administrativo.

The pork processing operation, Porcina Americana S.A., had been the object of multiple complaints from several government agencies.

The company has been in the same location for 30 years, and the lagoons that hold water processing runoff are 25 years old, said the Tribunal. The result is that nitrogen levels are 5,000 percent higher than permitted in the nearby waterway, said the Tribunal.

The Laboratorio Nacional de Aguas of the Instituto Nacional de Acueductos y Alcantarillados took samples in September, said the Tribunal.

The company has been trying to install a bio-digester for some of the waste products for four years, the Tribunal said.

The closure means that no new animals can be brought onto the premises for slaughter.

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