The Northern Beef Packers plant was authorized to slaughter and process up to 50 head of cattle on Wednesday after receiving permission from the c ity of Aberdeen Inspections Department.
Beef plant officials would not say whether the slaughter took place.
The plant may slaughter up to 50 cattle today and 100 cattle on Friday, according to the temporary certificate of occupancy issued to the plant.
The first temporary certificate was issued Sept. 27 by the city of Aberdeen and authorized killing up to five cattle as a test.
The new document allows for limited production and testing. It sets a schedule of building and safety conditions to be met before the plant may process more and more cattle, said Brett Bill, Aberdeen Planning and Zoning director.
As long as the plant meets those conditions, it can ramp up production through Nov. 16, according to the permit.
By the end of October, the plant could be processing 200 cattle per day.
By mid-November, the number could be as many as 500 cattle per day. Bill did not know if the beef plant slaughtered cattle on Wednesday.
"It is on a week-to-week basis," Bill said. "There is no guarantee they will be butchering cattle next week. It all depends on whether the plant meets the weekly conditions outlined in the certificate."
The plant can move forward in part because it has installed its wastewater equipment, said Pete Hesla, Aberdeen Wastewater Plant superintendent.
The beef plant was issued its wastewater permit from the city of Aberdeen on Tuesday.
"The equipment is all in place," Hesla said. "They are supposed to be using it now."
The wash water used to wash the equipment and ground, will contain blood, fat and bodily fluids and will be sent to Northern Beef's pretreatment area on site and then sent storage lagoons about two miles south of the plant. The water will be pretreated before it is sent to the Aberdeen Wastewater Plant for final treatment.
"It will be awhile before we see that pretreated water," Hesla said. "It will be several months. It all depends on how fast they fill their lagoons."
Hesla said the beef plant's lagoons are on 18 acres of land and can hold millions of gallons of water.
The wastewater system has been inspected many times, and all the pipes have passed pressure tests, he said.
City officials as well as representatives of the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources have looked at the system several times, he said.
On Wednesday Peggi Badten, Aberdeen pretreatment coordinator, met with Dirk Rogers of Northern Beef to discuss water testing.
Badten has been working with Northern Beef weekly and sometimes daily on wastewater procedures, Hesla said...
Source: Argentine Beef Packers S.A.
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