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IL EPA seeks court order against hog farm



August 13, 2012, Springfield, IL – Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (Illinois EPA) interim director John Kim has asked the Illinois Attorney General’s Office to proceed with an enforcement action against a swine operation that allegedly discharged manure into Beaver Creek in late July, resulting in a fish kill.

The discharge is believed to have occurred during irrigation spraying between July 20 and July 23, 2012.

“Due to the threat of future and further release of the contained livestock waste to Hooper Branch and Beaver Creek, and (the subject parties’) apparent unwillingness to more aggressively address the problem, the Illinois EPA believes an immediate order should be obtained in this matter compelling (the people and companies involved) to cease future and further discharges of livestock waste-contaminated water into Hooper Branch and Beaver Creek and begin an aggressive cleanup of the affected waterways,” the Illinois EPA has requested of the Illinois Attorney General’s Office.

Illinois EPA alleges that the parties named in the referral violated the Illinois Environmental Protection Act by placing contaminants on land in a manner so as to create a water pollution hazard, and caused the discharge of contaminants into the waters of the state without a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination (NPDES) permit.

The referral also alleges the parties violated state environmental regulations by creating offensive conditions and offensive discharges, causing Beaver Creek to exceed ammonia nitrogen standards, violating field application of livestock waste requirements, violating handling and storage of livestock waste requirements, violating water quality standards and failing to have an NPDES permit for very large operators.

A fish kill was first reported to Illinois EPA on July 25. Agency field staff, along with investigators from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, conducted initial on-site investigations on July 25 and July 26, observing water that was dark in color and dead fish and conducting interviews with the parties cited in the referral to the Illinois Attorney General’s Office.