Jump to content

Feds Question IEPA On CAFO's

Recommended Posts

If the state fails to act, the US EPA could move to take over the Illinois CAFO program and enforce the law itself.


SPRINGFIELD (WIFR) -- The federal government is demanding the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency answer a series of questions about how it handles mega dairy projects.


This extra heat appears to be brought on by the pending Tradition Dairy in Jo Daviess County.



The U.S. E.P.A. wants to know how the I.E.P.A. issues permits for C.A.F.O.s, which are concentrated animal feeding operations, and how it plans to take action if the C.A.F.O. breaks the law and contaminates our water.


I.E.P.A. Spokesperson Maggie Carson says her staff is now reviewing the 40-page document and expects to have a response within the required 30 days.



Illinois takes a hit over factory farms

State fails to crack down on water pollution at sites, federal EPA says

September 29, 2010|By Michael Hawthorne, Tribune reporter

Illinois is failing to crack down on water pollution from large confined-animal farms, the Obama administration announced Wednesday in a stinging rebuke that gave the state a month to figure out how to fix its troubled permitting and enforcement programs.


Responding to a petition from environmental groups, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said its nearly yearlong investigation found widespread problems with the Illinois EPA's oversight of confined-animal feeding operations, or CAFOs. Many of the cattle, hog and chicken operations produce manure in amounts comparable to the waste generated by small towns.


Federal investigators accused Illinois of failing to lock many farms into permits that limit water pollution. The state also has been slow to respond to citizen complaints or take formal enforcement action against big feedlots and dairies that violate federal and state environmental laws, the U.S. EPA said.

As large "factory farms" have spread across the nation, they have prompted scores of complaints about manure odors and raised concerns about massive waste lagoons contaminating groundwater. The U.S. EPA's 41-page report reflects President Barack Obama's campaign promise to get tough with confined-animal operations, which steadily have replaced smaller family farms.


Among other things, the federal report ordered Illinois to create a comprehensive inventory of factory farms, revamp its inspection program and develop standard procedures for investigating citizen complaints. If the state fails to act, the U.S. EPA could move to take over the Illinois CAFO program and enforce the law itself.


In a statement, the Illinois EPA said it is still reviewing the federal report. It said the state has issued water-pollution permits to 14 CAFOs and is studying or seeking public comments on 43 more.


Illinois officials already have been working with officials in the federal EPA's Chicago office to overhaul the state's programs and get more information from recalcitrant farm operators, the agency's statement said.


Federal EPA officials found that 32 percent of the state inspection reports they reviewed weren't detailed enough to determine if a confined-animal operation was complying with environmental laws. Even when the state took enforcement action, the federal EPA said, it failed to get megadairies and feedlots to comply with anti-pollution laws in more than 60 percent of the cases reviewed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites




Massive Discharge of Purple Contaminants from MegaDairy

Tributary to South Fork of Apple River Dyed Purple by Unknown Contaminants at Megadairy


Warren, IL - On Friday morning, October 1, concerned citizens living close to the megadairy near Nora, IL noticed that the previously clear tributary to the Apple River was suddenly dark purple.


Representatives of both the Illinois EPA and the US EPA, as well as the Jo Daviess Sheriff's department and the Jo Daviess Hazmat team arrived on site to evaluate the contaminates flooding into the stream.


Believed to be due to an overflowing silage leachate pond, EPA officials ordered representatives of AJ Bos, the California millionaire owner, to build a berm to contain the effluent in the inadequately sized leachate pond, and also demanded that he capture the pollutants that have already run off site.


To contain the spill, another berm was hastily constructed downstream on land adjacent to Mammoser Road to dam up the tributary. Efforts are still underway to pump the contents of the purple pond into tanker trucks which are rushing to knife it into recently harvested corn fields.


"Everyone keeps asking why the water is the color of Barney," stated Matthew Alschuler, press agent for HOMES, "but none of the local farmers or engineers we've consulted with can explain. They don't know of any naturally occurring compounds that would turn leachate the color of Kool-Aid."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ever since that mega-dairy was an issue I have kept writing to Senator Dick Durbin about it. Perhaps there was finally enough people complaining, writing, and advocating for our rivers to finally get recognition that there is a problem. I'll be forwarding the above information to Dick Durbin with a polite "I told you so"....along with "something needs to be done before another incident occurs". Of course we all know it's a matter of time but we can always hope we are doing everthing we can as citizens to prevent man made disasters.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is your update:


Leachate pond.


Aerial Photograph Shows Source of Purple Discharge

Silage Leachate Pond on Site of Megadairy is Dark Purple


Warren, IL - An aerial photograph taken Monday morning shows that the silage leachate pond on the site of the megadairy near Nora, IL is the source of the purple discharge that showed up Friday morning, October 1st, in a tributary to the Apple River.


This is the third major discharge of silage leachate from this facility, and this time both the IL EPA and the US EPA arrived on site to direct clean-up efforts.


Workers hired by the dairy spent the entire weekend pumping purple liquid from two hastily built retention ponds and spreading it onto neighboring fields. Working as late as midnight on Saturday, and possibly all through the night, efforts to contain and spread the oddly colored liquid didn't wind down until Sunday afternoon.


A temporary berm constructed south of the megadairy to prevent this waste from reaching the Apple River was finally removed on Monday once the water feeding that area was running clear.


There is still a second EPA ordered containment pond on the site of the dairy at the headwaters of the Apple River tributary that is collecting purple waste. Workers will be pumping this discharge into tankers and spreading on fields





Link to comment
Share on other sites

They store the stuff in ponds that supposedly won't leak to keep it from getting into the groundwater but then it's dumped on fields. Am I misunderstanding something?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They store the stuff in ponds that supposedly won't leak to keep it from getting into the groundwater but then it's dumped on fields. Am I misunderstanding something?


I assume the theory is that it will be very widely spread in small amounts and will soak into the ground but not make it down into the water table. Hopefully we don't get dumped on with any big rains any time soon...


The whole thing is just a big fubar. It'd be nice if the EPA and the IEPA would just shut it down and kick them out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They should do something on The Simpsons or Family Guy! That would be funny. I really don't understand why politicians, and judges are hard of hearing....is it an age thing? Thousands of people....not just a few....but thousands of people put up a fuss about the mega-dairy and yet it was built anyway. We all said it was a matter of time before something happened....here we are talking about it! I just don't get it. It's my opinion that action should not only be taken against the Mega-dairy to shut it down but the judge who approved the damn thing and the people who are in the dept. of agriculture! This may be a poor similarity but you get the point.....Why should Charles Manson be in prison...he didn't do anything....he just told other people what to do......how is this Megadairy any different? The judge said to Mr. Bos he can build the mega-dairy.....there were enough people to PROVE it was unsafe and yet it was approved anyway. To me the judge knowingly put safety aside....repercussions should fall upon the judge. It's time people are accountable for their actions. It's way over due! I just don't get it! Same with judges and lawyers who let criminals out early and then they commit more crimes! Why aren't the judges and lawyers accountable? The state wants to oppose right to carry.....why? because we can trust the system to protect us? I don't think so. But I'm off on a tangent....you get the idea of what's wrong here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I spent over an hour on the phone last night with various people getting some facts straight on this.


As best I can determine, the Livestock Facilities Management Act is what needs to be amended in order to allow local jurisdictions the final say in agricultural matters.

The JDC board voted it down.

It should have ended there.


The substance was not identified as of late last night, at least not the reason for it's color.

It is silage leachate, however...from the (corn) crops.

People in farming will get what that is about.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...