Western IA feedlot agrees to pay $10k penalty for pollution discharges

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 16th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Kansas City, Kansas, office of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said today (Monday), a western Iowa beef cattle feedlot company has agreed to pay a large penalty for violations of the Clean  Water Act related to discharges of pollutants into a creek and its tributaries. Petersen-Bubke, LLP, in Monona County, Iowa, has agreed to pay a $10,000 civil penalty. By agreeing to the settlement, Petersen-Bubke has certified that it is currently in compliance with the Clean Water Act.  

According to an administrative civil consent agreement and final order filed by EPA in Kansas City, Kan., EPA personnel conducted a compliance evaluation and inspection of the facility in March 2011 and observed evidence of discharges of process wastewater and pollutants from the facility into Rush creek. Petersen-Bubke was confining approximately 1,050 cattle at the time of the inspection, which made it subject to regulation as a large Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO). However, the feedlot did not have a necessary National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit, nor had it applied for one, as required by the Clean Water Act. 

EPA Region 7 issued an order to the feedlot in May 2011, directing it to install discharge controls or apply for an NPDES permit. In accordance with the order, Petersen-Bubke has complied with the Clean Water Act by reducing the number of cattle it confines below the regulatory threshold, and by constructing livestock waste controls. Unauthorized and uncontrolled discharges of wastewater and stormwater from concentrated animal feeding operations and their production 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.