The owner of a cattle and hog feedlot in Plymouth County, Iowa, has agreed to pay a $5,850 civil penalty to the United States to settle alleged violations of the facility’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit.
Mark Beitelspacher, doing business as Beitelspacher Farms, of LeMars, Iowa, did not maintain adequate records associated with the land application of liquid effluent from his feedlot, as required by the NPDES permit.
Beitelspacher Farms’ facilities have the capacity for approximately 3,000 cattle and 4,700 hogs, according to an administrative consent agreement filed by EPA Region 7 in Kansas City, Kan.
An EPA representative conducted a compliance inspection of Beitelspacher Farms on April 28, 2010, and found that the facility did not maintain adequate records of its liquid effluent land applications.
Failure to properly document land applications of a feedlot’s manure-containing process wastewater can increase the risk that crops and fields may receive excessive amounts of feedlot-related contaminants. Over-application can significantly increase the risk that pollutants will end up in nearby streams and water bodies.
“The State of Iowa has designated a number of streams in northwest Iowa as being impaired, and feedlot-related pollutants often are a significant contributor to water quality problems in these streams,” EPA Regional Administrator Karl Brooks said. “As EPA strives to encourage feedlot operators to comply with their discharge permits, the Agency is obligated by the Clean Water Act to protect the environment through enforcement actions such as this.”
As part of the settlement agreement, Beitelspacher has certified that his feedlot 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.