The EPA is on the warpath in the midwest again.  On May 16, 2011 the EPA Region 7 announced it had issued administrative complicane orders to seven concentrated animal feeding operations in Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska; all cattle operations.  The operations included medium to large CAFO’s operating with and without NPDES permits.

The violations included the following:

1.     Failure to maintain adequate storage capacity and confinement of cattle in areas without adequate controls to prevent discharges in violation of a NPDES permit;

2.     Direct discharges into adjacent creeks, tributories, wetlands, and officially listed imparied waterways; and

3.     Failure to sample manure, process wastewater and land application areas according to a Nutrient Managment Plan and NPDES permit and failure to maintain adequate records associated with land applications.

A representative of one of the Iowa sites reported that the operation had been working with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to ensure compliance.  In a statement to the Associated Press, the representative quoted “We thought we were in compliance, and we were, until the EPA showed up”. via Chicago Tribune.

The EPA’s recent actions serve a constant reminder that the organization is always watching.  Furthermore, it serves as a warning that the EPA may find violations despite the due diligence of the operator in cooperation with the state environmental agency.

For more information regarding the EPA’s actions check out the EPA’s News Release.