New Maps Show Where Tyson Foods Is Polluting Water

May 1, 2024 | 3:44 pm
photo of two scientists in protective suits squatting over the surface of a shallow stream in order to take water sampleshedgehog94/Adobe Stock
Stacy Woods
Research Director

Tyson Foods, the largest meat and poultry producer in the United States, churns out billions of animal products each year. In addition to countless ribeye steaks and chicken nuggets, Tyson also produces contaminated wastewater—over 18.5 billion gallons in 2022 alone. This toxic stew includes animal parts and byproducts like blood and feces, pathogens like E. coli and Enterococcus, and nitrogen and phosphorus that can deplete oxygen in bodies of water. And much of this pollution is dumped directly into rivers, lakes, streams, wetlands, and other waterways across the United States.

In a new report, the Union of Concerned Scientists exposes the staggering amount of pollution that Tyson discharged into waterways between 2018 and 2022: more than 371.7 million pounds. We created interactive maps so folks can see how much pollution each Tyson meat processing plant dumps into our waters, and how this water pollution threatens people and the planet.

Click on the image below—or head to—to explore Tyson’s troubling water pollution.