CAFOs under scrutiny by EPA
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has taken enforcement actions against six cattle feedlots in Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska for violations of the Clean Water Act (CWA) in line with "an increased emphasis aimed at ending harmful discharges of pollutants" from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) into rivers and streams, according to a recent announcement.
EPA will continue to use civil enforcement, including penalties when appropriate, to halt illegal practices that pose risks to human health and water quality, threaten aquatic life and habitat and impair the use and enjoyment of waterways, said Karl Brooks, administrator of EPA Region 7, which includes the three states.
CAFO runoffs contain pollutants such as pathogens, heavy metals, antibiotics, hormones and sediment, as well as nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus, all of which can adversely affect water quality and harm aquatic life, he said.
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