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EPA Wins an Iowa CAFO Case

An EPA ALJ today ruled in EPA's favor in a CAFO enforcement action in Armstrong, Iowa. A copy of the 108-page decision is attached below. The case was filed in 2016, and went to hearing in December 2019.


The case involved 42 days of unauthorized discharges from a feedlot. EPA proposed a penalty of $96,000 and the ALJ assessed a penalty of $76,000. EPA used stormwater computer modeling to prove many of the discharges. The discharges were conveyed to the river via a tile drain system, which raises interesting issues given the new WOTUS rule and the recent Maui decision.


In re Brown d/b/a Riverview Cattle, Docket No. CWA-07-2016-0053 (ALJ Coughlin Oct. 15, 2020) (in this initial decision involving 42 unauthorized discharges from an Iowa feedlot, held that CAFO that discharged to river via tile drain system was a point source; computer modeling was used to prove some of the discharges; there are no unpermitted de minimus discharges allowed under the CWA; ALJ assessed a penalty of $76,000 where discharges of E. coli were found to impact the impaired receiving waters; economic benefit was $800)


2020-10-15 - riverview cattle - initial
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