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Four Feedlots in Western Iowa Ordered to Comply With Clean Water Act

Release Date: 01/26/2007
Contact Information: Martin Kessler, (913) 551-7236, kessler.martin@epa.gov



Environmental News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Kansas City, Kan., Jan. 25, 2007) – EPA Region 7 has issued administrative compliance orders to four cattle feedlots in western Iowa for illegally discharging pollutants into Iowa creeks in violation of the Clean Water Act.

The orders require these cattle feedlots to comply with the Clean Water Act by eliminating discharges of manure that violate the law. The four feedlots are Pithan Feedlot in Anthon; Lowell Vos Feedlot in Kingsley; Marion J Rus Feedlot near Rock Valley; and A to Z Feeders in Atlantic. They discharge to Big Creek, Elliot Creek, Rock Creek, and Indian Creek, respectively.

“Many feedlots in this vital Midwestern industry continually strive to achieve compliance and protect the environment. The message from EPA has been clear and consistent: producers need to move forward to comply with the Clean Water Act,” said John B. Askew, EPA regional administrator. “Together, we are working for a better future for agriculture, our environment, and the people of this region."

The orders resulted from violations found during EPA compliance inspections and one inspection by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) in 2006, which were part of a joint initiative by EPA and IDNR to determine compliance with the Clean Water Act. EPA and IDNR inspected a total of 50 feedlots. EPA works in close partnership with IDNR on these enforcement issues to protect Iowa water quality.

IDNR developed the Iowa Open Feedlot Plan (Iowa Plan) in 2001 with input from 11 organizations and agencies, including EPA and the Iowa Cattlemen's Association. It launched a five-year enforcement moratorium by IDNR and EPA for feedlots that registered in the Iowa Plan and met specific compliance milestones. In return, the livestock industry agreed to use the moratorium to achieve full compliance with the Clean Water Act. The enforcement moratorium ended April 1, 2006, and EPA and IDNR began inspecting feedlots in May 2006.

The compliance orders address only those activities these feedlots must undertake to correct the violations and stop further environmental damage. EPA may require additional compliance activities, as well as penalties, for these and other Iowa feedlots.

Several hundred cattle feedlots in Iowa are regulated under the Clean Water Act, which requires large feedlots to prevent the discharge of all livestock runoff to protect water quality.
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