The owner of a cattle and hog feedlot in Plymouth County in northwest Iowa has agreed to pay a $5,850 civil penalty to the United States government to settle alleged violations of the facility's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, or NPDES, permit.
Mark Beitelspacher, doing business as Beitelspacher Farms, of LeMars, Iowa, did not maintain adequate records associated with the land application of liquid effluent from his feedlot, as required by the NPDES permit. Beitelspacher Farms' facilities have the capacity for approximately 3,000 cattle and 4,700 hogs according to officials of the Environmental Protection Agency's Region 7 office in Kansas City, Kan.
Fined for failure to keep proper records of manure applications
An EPA representative conducted a compliance inspection of Beitelspacher Farms on April 28, 2010, and found that the facility did not maintain adequate records of its liquid manure applications to the land. Failure to properly document land applications of a feedlot's manure-containing process wastewater can increase the risk that crops and fields may receive excessive amounts of feedlot-related contaminants. Overapplication can significantly increase the risk that pollutants will end up in nearby streams and water bodies.
"The State of Iowa has designated a number of streams in northwest Iowa as being impaired, and feedlot-related pollutants often are a significant contributor to water quality problems in these streams," says EPA regional administrator Karl Brooks. "As EPA strives to encourage feedlot operators to comply with their discharge permits, our agency is obligated by the federal Clean Water Act to protect the environment through enforcement actions such as this."
Feedlot operators have to comply with federal Clean Water Act
As part of the settlement agreement with EPA, Beitelspacher has certified that his feedlot is now in compliance with the Clean Water Act. The consent agreement is subject to a 40-day public comment period before it becomes final.
Learn more about EPA's civil enforcement of the Clean Water Act: www.epa.gov/compliance/civil/cwa/index.html. Learn more about the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) and how it regulates concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs): cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/home.cfm?program_id=7
The EPA Region 7 office has put together information in the form of 10 tips to help CAFO owners and operators prepare for inspections. You can find that at www.epa.gov/region07/factsheets/2010/ten_tips_cafo_inspection.htm.