The operator of a beef feedlot in Sioux County in northwest Iowa has agreed to pay a $30,000 civil penalty for unpermitted discharges of wastewater from the cattle facility into Otter Creek. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regional office in Kansas City issued the announcement on Dec. 30, 2010.
Darin Green, doing business as Darin Green Feedlot, of Hull, Iowa, agreed to the penalty as part of an administrative consent agreement filed by EPA Region 7 in Kansas City, Kan. EPA region 7 covers Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.
On March 11, 2010, EPA inspectors observed and sampled illegal discharges of manure, litter and process wastewater that were flowing from Green's feedlot into a tributary of Otter Creek. The feedlot did not have adequate waste control structures to prevent the discharge, nor did it have the required National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System wastewater permit.
EPA isn't only cracking down on large feedlots for violations
Several other Iowa livestock operations have been fined by EPA in recent months, as the agency cracks down on pollution violations. Agency officials say they are no longer only enforcing laws on the biggest feedlots. Smaller and medium size livestock operations are also being inspected and watched.
At the time of the inspection, the Darin Green feedlot operation was confining approximately 2,100 cattle in total, including 950 head in open pens and 1,150 head in a deep-bedded confinement building.
EPA issued an administrative compliance order to Darin Green Feedlot on March 30, 2010, requiring immediate compliance with the federal Clean Water Act. Since that time, Green has constructed adequate runoff controls and has obtained an NPDES permit. Unpermitted discharges of wastewater from concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs, can cause exceedances in water quality standards and pose risks to human health, threaten aquatic life and its habitat, and impair public use and enjoyment of waterways.
EPA has 10 tips to help livestock feeders comply with regulations
The EPA's settlement with Darin Green Feedlot is subject to a 30-day public comment period before it becomes final.
• To learn more about EPA's civil enforcement of the federal Clean Water Act go to www.epa.gov/compliance/civil/cwa/index.html
• To learn more about the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit process and how it regulates concentrated animal feeding operations go to cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/home.cfm?program_id=7
• EPA Region 7 officials offer 10 tips to help CAFO owners and operators prepare for inspections. You can read those guidelines at www.epa.gov/region07/factsheets/2010/ten_tips_cafo_inspection.htm