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EPA Issues Compliance Orders to Six Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations in Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska

Release Date: 08/22/2011
Contact Information: Chris Whitley, 913-551-7394, whitley.christopher@epa.gov


Environmental News


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Kansas City, Kan., Aug. 22, 2011) - EPA Region 7 announced today that it has issued administrative compliance orders to six 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 five beef feedlots, including three in Nebraska, one in Kansas, and one in Iowa; and an egg layer operation in Nebraska.

“The majority of livestock and poultry producers in Region 7 understand the importance of protecting our water resources, and they work hard to ensure their operations comply with state and federal laws,” EPA Regional Administrator Karl Brooks said. “However, when an operation fails to meet its responsibilities, EPA will continue to work closely with our state partner agencies and stakeholders to enforce the Clean Water Act and encourage compliance.”

Stormwater runoff from CAFO production areas such as confinement pens, feedstock storage areas and manure stockpiles, and runoff from land application areas, 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.

According to the administrative compliance orders issued by EPA Region 7 in Kansas City, Kan.:

M.G. Waldbaum Company, d/b/a Bloom N Egg Farm, Bloomfield, Neb. - An inspection of the egg layer operation in September 2010 found that it was illegally discharging wastewater from poultry manure stockpiles into a tributary of Little Bazile Creek in Knox County. Sample results indicated high levels of E.coli bacteria and other pollutants discharging into the tributary. The order requires the operation to cease all production area discharges, install runoff controls, and comply with the Clean Water Act. The operation, which has a capacity of 4,448,000 birds, was confining approximately 3.1 million layer hens at the time of the inspection. The operation has applied for an NPDES permit.

A.J. Jones, d/b/a Callicrate Feeding Company, St. Francis, Kan. - An inspection in February 2011 identified significant NPDES permit violations, including failure to maintain adequate wastewater storage capacity, failure to meet Nutrient Management Plan requirements, failure to conduct operations within areas that are controlled in a manner capable of preventing pollution, and failure to maintain adequate records. The order requires the operation to comply with all terms of the Clean Water Act and its NPDES permit, and to coordinate with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment on its compliance. The order requires the operation to comply with the terms of its Nutrient Management Plan, including sampling and recordkeeping requirements. The feedlot has a permitted capacity of 12,000 cattle and was confining approximately 3,219 cattle at the time of the inspection.

Michael and David Uecker, d/b/a Dave Uecker Livestock, Norfolk, Neb. - An inspection of the beef feedlot and stream sampling in July 2011 found that the operation was illegally discharging manure, litter and process wastewater into a series of drainage ditches before discharging into an unnamed tributary to the North Fork of the Elkhorn River in Madison County. The operation has a capacity of 900 cattle and was confining approximately 450 cattle at the time of the inspection, classifying it as a medium CAFO. The order requires the operation to apply for an NPDES permit, and construct feedlot waste controls or reduce the number of cattle that it confines below the regulatory threshold.

John Reigle, d/b/a Reigle Farms, Madison, Neb. - An inspection of the beef feedlot in June 2011 found several NPDES permit violations, including illegal discharges from a holding pond to an unnamed tributary of Tracy Creek in Madison County, failure to timely notify state authorities of the holding pond discharge, failure to maintain adequate wastewater storage capacity in the holding pond, failure to maintain an accurate staff gauge in the holding pond, unauthorized discharges of livestock waste from land application fields, failure to maintain wastewater application records and failure to perform a liquid waste nutrient analysis. The order requires the operation to comply with the Clean Water Act, its NPDES permit and Nutrient Management Plan, and to cease operations in parts of its facility where wastewater cannot be properly managed. The operation has a permitted capacity of 9,000 cattle and was confining approximately 8,600 cattle at the time of the inspection.

Ritter Feedyards, LLC, Beemer, Neb. - An inspection of the NPDES-permitted beef feedlot in April 2011 found the facility was discharging manure, litter and process wastewater into Rock Creek and an unnamed tributary of the Elkhorn River in Cuming County. The order requires the operation to comply with the Clean Water Act and its NPDES permit, and to construct feedlot waste controls. The facility has a permitted capacity of 1,200 cattle and was confining approximately 1,038 cattle at the time of the inspection.

S&S Cattle Company, Council Bluffs, Iowa - An inspection of the beef feedlot in May 2011 found that the operation discharges manure, litter and process wastewater into a series of drainage ditches that flow into an unnamed tributary of Mosquito Creek in Pottawattomie County. The operation has a capacity of 999 cattle and was confining approximately 730 cattle at the time of the inspection, classifying it as a medium CAFO. The order requires the operation to apply for an NPDES permit and construct feedlot waste controls, or reduce the number of cattle it confines below the regulatory threshold.

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Learn more about EPA’s civil enforcement of the Clean Water Act

Learn more about the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) and how it regulates concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs)

Read a summary (1 pg, 28K About PDF) of how the NPDES regulations define large, medium and small CAFOs

EPA Region 7 offers 10 tips to help CAFO owners and operators prepare for inspections

Connect with EPA Region 7 on Facebook: www.facebook.com/eparegion7