Lt. Governor Bill Ratliff Joins Opposition to Chicken Processing Plant

Round one in a court battle that involves "Bo" Pilgrim and the current Lieutenant Governor Bill Ratliff.

Lonnie "Bo" Pilgrim, founder of one of East Texas's biggest employers, Pilgrim's Pride, wants to build a new chicken rendering plant just outside of Pittsburg. Part of the plan includes drilling wells 6000 feet in the ground to dispose of chicken processing wastewater.

Opening arguments began Monday in Austin... Ratliff attended as a representative of family members, who own adjacent property to the proposed plant. They, along with other adjacent landowners and environmentalists believe that the wastewater could leak out of the wells contaminating groundwater supplies.

Attorneys say Pilgrim's Pride has had trouble in the past complying with some environmental standards. The plant could add as many as two thousand jobs for Camp County. The hearing is expected to last all this week.