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Beef feedlots in Iowa face enforcement actions


June 10, 2010
By Environmental Protection Agency

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June 10, 2010, Kansas
City, KA – EPA Region 7 has taken a series of civil enforcement actions against
three beef feedlot operations in Iowa for violations of the Clean Water Act, as
part of a continuing enforcement emphasis aimed at ending harmful discharges of
pollutants from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) into the
region’s rivers and streams.


June 10, 2010, Kansas
City, KA – EPA Region 7 has taken a series of civil enforcement actions against
three beef feedlot operations in Iowa for violations of the Clean Water Act, as
part of a continuing enforcement emphasis aimed at ending harmful discharges of
pollutants from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) into the
region’s rivers and streams.

“In some instances, we
are finding harmful bacteria such as E.coli in wastewater discharged by feedlots
at levels that are exponentially higher than the levels at which EPA permits
municipal wastewater treatment systems to discharge their treated wastewater,”
said EPA regional administrator Karl Brooks. “This is just one measure of the
harm that can come when feedlots fail to operate within the law.”

Of the three most recent
enforcement actions, one involves a civil penalty against a CAFO for failure to
comply with its National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit.
Bruce Feedlot, of Hastings, Iowa, has agreed to pay a $31,573 civil penalty for
its unauthorized discharges of pollutants to Indian Creek and its tributaries
in Mills County, Iowa. EPA’s settlement with Bruce Feedlot is subject to a
40-day public comment period before it becomes final.

The remaining two
enforcement actions involve administrative compliance orders issued to
medium-sized CAFOs, which are feedlots that confine between 300 and 999 cattle.
EPA has documented significant water quality problems associated with medium
CAFOs and is making enforcement at these operations a priority:

Groeneweg Farm, of Rock
Valley, Iowa, must apply for an NPDES permit and complete wastewater controls
at its facilities by October 31, 2011, to end unauthorized discharges of
pollutants into an unnamed tributary of the Rock River in Sioux County, Iowa.

Gradert/Cla-Don/Winterfeld
Feedlot, of Ireton, Iowa, must apply for an NPDES permit and complete
wastewater controls at its facilities by October 31, 2011, to end unauthorized
discharges of pollutants into Six Mile Creek in Sioux County, Iowa.


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