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Judge upholds pollution fine against Iowa cattle farmers

Dec 11, 2020  | Ep4617

ARMSTRONG, Iowa (AP) — An administrative judge has approved a $76,000 fine against an Iowa cattle feedlot for violating the Clean Water Act by discharging polluted wastewater into the East Fork of the Des Moines River.

Tony and Joshua Brown, of Armstrong, Iowa, discharged pollutants into the river from the Riverview Cattle lot on 41 days, in a ruling from Administrative Judge Christine Donelian Coughlin that became final Nov. 30.

The brothers contended the pollutants never reached the river. They did not appeal the fine.

Animal feeding operations with more than 300 head of cattle are required to obtain a Clean Water permit and take measures to minimize pollutants in storm water runoff from their facilities, the EPA said in a news release Wednesday.

According to the court ruling, Riverview Cattle did not obtain the permit before repeatedly discharging storm water containing pollutants through an underground pipe into the river.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources determined that the East Fork of the Des Moines River is impaired for recreational use because of high levels of bacteria, in part caused by runoff from feedlots

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