EPA invokes Clean Water Act to curb feedlot discharges in IA, KS & NE
By Agri-Pulse Staff
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Administrator Lisa P. Jackson has made it clear that the protection of
“Enforcing the clean water laws recognizes that responsible operators have made major investments in pollution control. EPA and our state partners are working across the region to secure compliance with the Clean Water Act, and to end these types of harmful violations by feedlot operators.”
Runoff from CAFOs contains pollutants such as pathogens, heavy metals, hormones, antibiotics, sediment and ammonia, as well as nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous, all of which can harm aquatic life and impact water quality.
Of the six enforcement actions, two include penalties where CAFOs failed to comply with their National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits. The causes of the violations were addressed in previously issued administrative compliance orders. The two proposed penalty settlements with the CAFOs listed below are each subject to a 40-day public comment period before they may be finalized.
County Feeders, LLC,
Valley Feeders, LLC,
The remaining four enforcement actions are administrative compliance orders issued to the following large and medium CAFOs. Large CAFOs are cattle feedlots with greater than 1,000 head of cattle, and medium CAFOs are feedlots with between 300 and 999 head of cattle that are required to apply for NPDES permits or cease pollutant discharges. EPA has documented significant water quality problems associated with medium CAFOs and is making enforcement at these CAFOs a priority.
Sandhill Farm, Inc., Rock Valley, Iowa, must immediately reduce the number of cattle it confines below 1,000, apply for an NPDES permit, and complete wastewater controls at its facility to end unauthorized discharges of pollutants into a tributary of the Rock River in Sioux County, Iowa.
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