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Cavel back on sewer

Published: Thursday, June 7, 2007 12:00 a.m. CDT

DeKalb horse slaughterhouse Cavel International has reconnected to the DeKalb Sanitary District after spending the last two months modifying its wastewater treatment to comply with its sewer discharge permit. Sanitary district Director Mike Zima said the plant reconnected last Friday, after a federal judge granted a temporary restraining order that allows the plant to continue slaughtering horses for human consumption overseas in spite of recent state legislation banning the practice. &#8220They did reconnect to our system, and according to (plant manager) Jim Tucker, that was accomplished last Friday and they were slaughtering horses on Saturday,” Zima said. Cavel voluntarily disconnected from the system at the end of March because levels of some chemicals in its treated effluent exceeded the limits set in its permit. Zima said the company was spending around $27,000 a week to truck its wastewater to Hammond, Ind., while it was disconnected from the DeKalb system. &#8220Due to some tweaking of their pretreatment system and the advent of warmer weather, which made their system work better, they were able to get their ammonia levels in the treated effluent down within the permit limits,” Zima said. &#8220Tests have been run on a daily basis, and they all show (Cavel is) in compliance with their permit.” The district board of trustees is expected to rule June 18 on whether it will hold Cavel to $55,000 in fines levied against the company for violating its discharge permit. Cavel appealed the fines last week. A state law passed May 24 banned the slaughter of horses for human consumption, but Cavel filed a request for an injunction in federal court the next day. A judge is scheduled to rule on the constitutionality of the law June 14, and granted Cavel a temporary restraining order to protect it from prosecution until that ruling.

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