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Thursday, July 30, 2020

Activists Holding Demonstration Over Ammonia Leak That Killed 5,500 Fish in San Antonio River

Posted By on Thu, Jul 30, 2020 at 9:57 AM

click to enlarge Dead fish float in the San Antonio River after an ammonia leak at a downtown sausage plant. - KATIE HENNESSEY
  • Katie Hennessey
  • Dead fish float in the San Antonio River after an ammonia leak at a downtown sausage plant.
Texas animal rights activists will stage an August 7 demonstration to decry the death of more than 5,500 fish in the San Antonio River from an ammonia leak at a nearby food plant.

The Texas Animal Freedom Fighters is billing the gathering as a protest and vigil for the dead wildlife, according to a Facebook post by the group. The event will run noon-2 p.m. outside Kiolbassa Smoked Meats, the site of the leak.

On June 29, The San Antonio Fire Department used water to neutralize an ammonia leak at the plant to reduce its potentially harmful fumes. The diluted chemical then ran into stormwater systems that emptied into San Pedro Creek and, ultimately, the Mission Reach of the San Antonio River.

The San Antonio River Authority counted 5,500 dead fish following the incident.

TAFF is urging concerned citizens to contact the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and ask that it make Kiolbassa pay restitution. The number for the department overseeing the river damage is (512) 389-4848.

After toxic spills into waterways, TPWD typically assesses a fine on polluters and uses the compensation to help restore the damaged habitat.

"There is a restitution value for lost fish due to pollution events," TPWD biologist Travis Tidwell told the Current shortly after the incident. "We will take a look at the damage and the potential responsible party, then develop a monetary value of the lost resource."

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