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EPA issues orders to CAFOs in IA, KS and NE


May 31, 2011
By U.S. EPA

Topics

feedlot03May 30, 2011, Kansas, KS
– EPA Region 7 recently announced that it has issued administrative compliance
orders to seven concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) in Iowa, Kansas
and Nebraska, directing those operations to correct a range of violations of
the federal Clean Water Act.
May 30, 2011, Kansas, KS
EPA Region 7 recently announced that it has issued administrative compliance
orders to seven concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) in Iowa, Kansas
and Nebraska, directing those operations to correct a range of violations of
the federal Clean Water Act.

Region 7’s latest round
of CAFO enforcement activity, aimed at encouraging producers’ compliance with
the Clean Water Act and the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System
(NPDES)
permitting program, involves seven beef feedlots, including four in
Iowa, two in Kansas and one in Nebraska.

 feedlot03  
   

“Feedlot-related
pollutants have significantly contributed to water quality problems, causing
states to list streams as impaired under the Clean Water Act,” EPA regional
administrator Karl Brooks said. “As Clean Water Act permits provide a crucial
tool to maintain water quality, the EPA works with our state partners and
stakeholders to promote producers' legal compliance. Enforcing feedlot permits
and requiring producers to get them, where appropriate, will produce cleaner
waters and likely require fewer enforcement actions in the future.”

Wastewater discharges
and runoff from CAFOs and lands where those operations store or apply manure
and wastes can cause exceedances of water quality standards, pose risks to
human health, threaten aquatic life and its habitat, and impair the use and
enjoyment of waterways.

Violations noted in the
seven separate administrative compliance orders include wastewater discharges
by unpermitted medium and large CAFOs, discharges by a large CAFO in violation
of its NPDES permit, failures to maintain adequate storage capacity for wastes,
and a large CAFO’s failure to adequately track its land application activities
to ensure that area surface waters are protected:

  • Crossroads Cattle Co.,
    Woodbine, IA – An inspection and review of the NPDES-permitted open beef
    feedlot identified failures to maintain adequate storage capacity in its
    lagoons, and confinement of cattle in areas lacking adequate controls to
    prevent unauthorized discharges. The order requires the operation to cease use
    of areas with inadequate controls and ensure wastewater levels in retention
    structures are in compliance with its NPDES permit. Discharges from the feedlot
    flow to a tributary of the Boyer River in Harrison County. The feedlot has a
    permitted capacity of 5,500 cattle and was confining approximately 3,200 to
    3,500 cattle at the time of the inspection.
  • Feedlot Services
    Company, Neola, IA – Inspection found the unpermitted operation was confining
    809 beef cattle in an open feedlot that discharges into Keg Creek in
    Pottawattamie County. The order requires the operation, which has a confinement
    capacity of 999 cattle, to cease unauthorized discharges or apply for an NPDES
    permit within 90 days and construct controls before September 30, 2012.
  • Harlan Northrup, d/b/a
    Harlan Northrup Feedlot, Griswold, IA – Inspection found the unpermitted
    operation was confining approximately 350 beef cattle in an open feedlot that
    discharges into a federally recognized wetland and a tributary of Boughman’s
    Creek in Cass County. The order requires the operation, which has a confinement
    capacity of 800 cattle, to cease unauthorized discharges or apply for an NPDES
    permit within 90 days and construct controls before September 30, 2012.
  • Petersen-Bubke LLP,
    Mapleton, IA – Inspection found the unpermitted operation was confining 1,050
    beef cattle in an open feedlot that discharges into Rush Creek in Monona
    County. The order requires the operation to cease unauthorized discharges or
    apply for an NPDES permit within 90 days and construct controls before
    September 30, 2012.
  • KM Feeders, Lyons, KS –
    Inspection and file review of the NPDES-permitted feedlot found failures to
    maintain adequate storage capacity in its lagoons. The order requires the
    operation to ensure wastewater levels in retention structures are in compliance
    with its NPDES permit, and provide monthly reports to the EPA. Discharges from the
    feedlot would flow to Dry Creek, which is officially listed by the EPA and the
    State of Kansas as an impaired water because of phosphorous and total suspended
    solids levels. The feedlot has a permitted capacity of 5,200 cattle and was
    confining at capacity at the time of the inspection.
  • McPherson County
    Feeders, Marquette, KS – Inspection and file review of the NPDES-permitted
    feedlot found failures to maintain adequate storage capacity in its lagoons.
    The order requires the operation to ensure wastewater levels in retention structures
    are in compliance with its NPDES permit, install legible staff gauges in its
    retention structures, and provide monthly reports to the  EPA . Discharges from the
    feedlot would flow into Sharps Creek in McPherson County. Sharps Creek is
    officially listed by the EPA and the State of Kansas as an impaired water because
    of E. coli and total suspended solid levels. The feedlot has a permitted
    capacity of 13,000 cattle and was confining approximately 8,506 cattle at the
    time of the inspection.
  • Knox County Feeders,
    Bloomfield, NE – As part of a compliance evaluation, the EPA determined that the
    open beef feedlot had failed to sample its manure, process wastewater and land
    application areas as required by the terms of its Nutrient Management Plan
    (NMP) and its NPDES permit, and was unable to provide adequate records
    associated with its land applications. Those failures made it impossible to
    determine application rates for manure disposal, putting nearby surface water
    at the risk of potentially harmful discharges. The order requires the operation
    to update its NMP and meet all sampling and recordkeeping requirements of the
    NMP and NPDES permit. The feedlot has a permitted capacity of 5,000 cattle.