May 31, 2011

Iowa Feedlot Officials to Pay Civil Penalty to Settle Discharge Violations

Facility executives agreed to pay $20,000 for discharging wastewater into local waterway

Moran Beef Inc. executives agreed to pay a $20,000 penalty as part of an administrative consent agreement filed by Environmental Protection Agency Region 7 officials in Kansas City, Kan. In June 2009, EPA inspectors visited the facility and found that it lacked controls to prevent the discharge of animal waste into Mosquito Creek and its tributaries.
A subsequent inspection in October 2009 collected samples of effluent that showed the facility was discharging pathogens, ammonia and nitrate into an unnamed tributary of the creek. At the time of the EPA’s inspection of Moran Beef, the facility was confining approximately 1,485 cattle in its open lot and confinement barn operations. A Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation with both open lots and confinement barns is subject to regulation under the Clean Water Act if the entire operation contains more than 1,000 beef cattle.

EPA officials issued an administrative compliance order to facility executives in January 2010, directing them to comply with requirements of the act and end all unauthorized discharges of wastewater from its facility. Following that order, company officials applied for a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit and built controls at the facility to prevent unauthorized discharges.

Discharges of wastewater from large feedlot facilities can breech water quality standards and pose risks to human health, threaten aquatic life and habitats, and impair public use and enjoyment of waterways.