Same company spills animal parts on roadway for 5th time in 2 years

ROCK HILL, S.C. — A spill involving "animal parts" closed the 82-C ramp to northbound Interstate 77 in Rock Hill Tuesday morning, officials said.

A tractor-trailer from Valley Proteins carrying pig parts reportedly lost some of its load on the 82-C ramp when it braked suddenly.

Valley Protein's trucks have been involved in several animal part spills throughout the Charlotte area, including last month when one of its trucks spilled animal carcasses in Cleveland County along US 74. The heat index was over 100 on the day of the spill and vultures were circling. Channel 9's chopper pilot could smell the odor from 700 feet above.

The company was also involved in an incident in March 2017, when animal parts spilled all over Highway 321 in Gastonia. In September 2016, it had spills in Belmont and near Clover.

When Channel 9 called Valley Proteins in the past, the company would not comment on the spills. Tuesday, the phone just rang.

According to its website, the company carries 5 billion pounds of animal fat, bones and hides each year.

Action 9 checked federal records and the company is in good standing. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration gives the company a "satisfactory" rating, the highest of its three available ratings.

Over the last two years, Valley Proteins has been inspected 353 times. During the inspections, the company scored better than the national average.

Typically, when any company spills something on the highway, it's up to that company to clean it up and pay for it. In rare cases, the state's Department of Transportation will take care of it and send the business the bill.

On Tuesday, Rock Hill police said they cited the truck driver, who was not hurt, for causing the spill.

A cleanup crew was called to the scene as well.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control said in a statement, "DHEC's role is to provide support to the incident command and to ensure that any discharge to the environment is properly remediated. The responsible party will hire a clean up contractor to perform the actual work. In this case, the road was hosed down to allow the road to reopen and to keep motorists from driving through the animal parts. The clean up contractor will be responsible for removing solids and neutralizing the area (example: spreading lime)."

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