The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency continues to clamp down on small-to medium-sized cattle feeding operations for violations of the Clean Water Act. The agency's latest move involved eight northwest Iowa feedlots that have been ordered to apply for federal regulatory permits and cease discharges into streams. Region 7 EPA Administrator Karl Brooks believes most changes can be made without significant financial burden on farmers.
"Every operation is different, every operator has a different set of factors he is working with -topography or the way he feeds," Brooks said. "In some cases the changes may be ones that you can make without a huge financial investment, in fact I think in most cases it's not a huge financial investment."
Brooks denies that EPA is targeting agriculture, and specifically the livestock industry.
"I'd say instead of targeting agriculture we are doing a better job of reminding producers of the responsibilities they owe to their neighbors and folks that live in their state," Brooks said. "EPA wants a strong, vibrant, innovative farm sector."