Lenexa, Kan. -- County Edge Dairy Inc. has agreed to pay a $20,000 civil penalty to settle alleged violations of the Clean Water Act at its Inwood, Iowa, facility, the Environmental Protection Agency announced today.
County Edge Dairy qualifies as a large Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) under Clean Water Act regulations. However, at the time of EPA’s inspection in July 2012, County Edge Dairy did not possess a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit as required by law. The dairy confined approximately 1,000 cattle at the time of the inspection.
The inspection also noted that the facility does not have adequate waste control facilities and that the slope and condition of the land at the facility will result in wastewater discharge into tributaries of Dry Run Creek.
EPA Region 7 issued County Edge Dairy an Administrative Compliance Order on April 1, 2013, which required the dairy to cease all wastewater discharge from its facility or reduce the number of cattle at the facility until unauthorized discharges are eliminated. The order also required County Edge Dairy to obtain an NPDES permit in order to maintain or increase the number of cattle at the facility.
“Minimizing CAFO discharges into water remains an EPA priority, both nationally and in the Region 7 states, “ EPA Region 7 Administrator Karl Brooks said. “This Agency uses a variety of tools, including NPDES permits, to work with the dairy, livestock, and poultry industries to ensure compliance with federal and state laws that safeguard our water quality.”
Discharges from CAFOs can decrease water quality and pose risks to human health, aquatic life and its habitat, and impair the use and enjoyment of waterways.
As part of the settlement agreement, County Edge Dairy has certified that it is now in compliance with the Clean Water Act. The consent agreement is subject to a 40-day public comment period before it becomes final.