Cargill Pork agreed to pay a $1 million fine for illegally dumping manure that prosecutors says contaminated five miles of a Missouri river and killed 53,000 fish.

Cargill also must pay $51,000 in restitution for the federal Clean Water Act violation at the 17,000-head pork operation near Martinsburg, Mo., about 75 miles northwest of St. Louis.

The agreement was announced Tuesday, along with a federal indictment that accused former farm manager Duane W. Connor, 40, of violating the Clean Water Act and making a false statement.

Prosecutors contend farm equipment wasn't operated properly in July 2000, allowing the manure to pass through valves and holding ponds into the Loutre River, a tributary of the Missouri River, the U.S. attorney's office said. The company didn’t report the discharges to the state.

Cargill spokesman Mark Klein says the company was pleased with the settlement terms.

“The incident clearly concerned us and was not characteristic of Cargill Pork's environmental record,” says Klein.

Prosecutors said Cargill has spent $500,000 to fix problems associated with the dumping.

Associated Press