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Wood Creek Livestock Company feedlot receives EPA Compliance Order to stop polluting Snake River tributary

Release Date: 06/15/2010
Contact Information: Nick Peak/EPA/Idaho, (208) 378-5765, peak.nicholas@epa.gov Steven Potokar/EPA/Seattle (206) 553-6354 potokar.steven@epa.gov Mark Macintyre, EPA/Seattle (206) 553-7302, macintyre.mark@epa.gov

(Boise, Idaho – June 15, 2010) Jean M. Smith, owner and operator of the Boise-based Wood Creek Livestock Company, has been issued an EPA Compliance Order for alleged violations of the federal Clean Water Act. The alleged violations occurred at the Wood Creek Feedlot near Grand View, Idaho, which is close to the Snake River and its tributaries.

The Wood Creek Feedlot has a winter feeding operation which confines over 1,000 head of cattle. Under today’s order, the Company is ordered to cease all discharges of pollutants to waters of the United States and remove all livestock from areas of direct access to those waters until access to nearby waterways is blocked.

According to Edward Kowalski, Director of EPA’s Office of Compliance and Enforcement in Seattle, protecting water quality means keeping livestock out of feedlot streams, especially during winter feeding operations.

“Large feedlots that offer livestock direct access to rivers and streams aren’t just environmental health threats….they’re against the law,” said Kowalski. “When confined cows have direct access, Idaho’s waters are being polluted.”

During an EPA inspection, inspectors noted that cattle had direct access to Corder Creek, a tributary to the Snake River. Manure and urine were observed in and along Corder Creek where cattle have direct access. In addition, samples collected from Corder Creek (in the feedlot) showed extremely high levels of bacteria and nutrients.

Pollutants commonly associated with animal waste or manure often includes nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus, organic matter, pathogens and sediments. These pollutants can choke rivers and streams with algae, kill fish by reducing oxygen in the water and transmit waterborne diseases.

For more about EPA’s storm water discharge permitting program, visit: http://cfpub1.epa.gov/npdes/home.cfm?program_id=6

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