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Campbell Soup Company Served with a Lawsuit over Alleged Lake Erie Contamination


The Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed a lawsuit against Campbell Soup Company alleging violative release of phosphorus and pathogens apparently arising from their Napoleon, OH. plant into the Maumee River feeding Lake Erie, The release of phosphorus into waterways contributes to eutrophication resulting in undesirable “algae blooms”.


The DOJ lawsuit followed separate legal action by nonprofits, Environment America and the Lake Erie Waterkeepers in the U.S. District Court the Northern District of Ohio.


To their credit, Campbell Soup recognizes the seriousness of the allegations and has worked with nonprofit environmental activist organizations to rectify deficiencies in wastewater treatment.


A spokesperson for the National Environmental Law Center noted, “We commend Campbell for its willingness to work cooperatively with us and the federal government to forthrightly address its longstanding compliance problems rather than spend its time litigating.”  He added, “Filing our lawsuit today will enable us to move forward quickly should negotiations breakdown.”


It is evident that the current Administration is active in addressing noncompliance over wastewater treatment and appears to make common cause with nonprofit activists’ organizations.  This has implications for all agricultural operations that generate waste.