Environmental activists sued one of the world’s biggest poultry producers in Jacksonville’s federal court Thursday, saying a chicken processing site near Live Oak is polluting the Suwannee River.

The suit argues Pilgrim’s Pride regularly violated pollution standards written into company permits for years, pointing to daily reports compiled by Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection.

Activists said the state hasn’t taken meaningful action despite more than 1,000 days of violations over five years.

“Here is one of the world’s largest meat companies continually dumping pollution into one of Florida’s most beautiful rivers,” said Jennifer Rubiello, state director of Environment Florida. “If our own state officials won’t step in and protect the Suwannee, then Environment Florida will.”

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