It was announced on April 16 that Petersen-Bubke, LLP, a beef cattle feedlot in Monona County in western Iowa, has agreed to pay a $10,000 civil penalty to the United States government for violations of the federal Clean Water Act related to discharges of pollutants into Rush Creek and its tributaries.
According to an administrative civil consent agreement and final order filed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Kansas City, Kan., EPA personnel conducted a compliance evaluation and inspection of the facility in March 2011 and observed evidence of discharges of process wastewater and pollutants from the facility into the creek. Petersen-Bubke was confining approximately 1,050 cattle at the time of the inspection, which made the feedlot subject to regulation as a large Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation or CAFO. However, the feedlot did not have a necessary National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit, nor had it applied for one, as required by the federal Clean Water Act.
By settling with EPA, the feedlot has certified it is now complying with the law
EPA Region 7 issued an order to the feedlot in May 2011, directing it to install discharge controls or apply for an NPDES permit. In accordance with the order, Petersen-Bubke has complied with the Clean Water Act by reducing the number of cattle it confines below the regulatory threshold, and by constructing livestock waste controls.
Unauthorized and uncontrolled discharges of wastewater and storm water from concentrated animal feeding operations and their production areas can cause it to exceed the government's water quality standards, pose risks to human health, threaten aquatic life and its habitat, and impair the use and enjoyment of waterways.
By agreeing to the settlement, Petersen-Bubke has certified that it is in compliance with the Clean Water Act, say EPA officials, in a press release issued last week.
Learn more about EPA's civil enforcement of the Clean Water Act:
Learn more about the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)
and how it regulates concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs):
For a summary of how the NPDES regulations define large, medium and small CAFOs:
EPA Region 7 offers 10 tips to help CAFO owners and operators prepare for inspections:
Connect with EPA Region 7 on Facebook: