Feedlot Facility Pays for Alleged Animal Waste Violations

John Bezates has agreed to pay an $8,000 penalty to settle Clean Water Act discharge violations at his Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation, a Jan. 26 press release said. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the violations occurred at Bezates Feedlot located in Ontario, Oregon.

During an inspection of Bezates Feedlot operations in January 2008, EPA and Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) inspectors documented animal wastes flowing from confinement pens into Jacobsen Gulch Creek, a tributary to the Snake River. This discharge violated a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit issued to Bezates by the state of Oregon. This was Bezates’ first known violation of the CWA, and he has since corrected the discharge problem with the help of ODA.

According to Lauris Davies, EPA acting director, Office of Compliance and Enforcement in Seattle, this inspection was a part of a nationwide effort to put in effect a national priority focus on Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, particularly those discharging wastewater into impaired waterbodies. In Oregon, ODA has been instrumental in this effort and has shouldered the bulk of the follow-up efforts to ensure compliance.

“When Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations fail to take proper precautions, including obtaining necessary wastewater discharge permits, their manure laden runoff can pollute our creeks, rivers, and streams,” said Davies.