Manure in Our Water? Or Is the EPA Over Zealous?

The federal EPA inspected the Nordman Feedlot on Route 64, east of Oregon last June. At that time the facility had about 2,500 head of cattle. The EPA considers anything over 1,000 head to be a serious environmental threat. The threat is to groundwater and runoff of cattle manure and waste water into nearby streams and rivers.

In this case the feds are concerned about the Kyte River and the Rock River into which it flows. According to a feedlot manager, at the initial inspection the EPA representative basically said any operation the size of Nordman’s must be polluting.

The feedlot manager declined to go on camera but he did tell 23 News his company was guilty before proven innocent, and that there is no proof of any polluting of area streams. Nordman’s feedlots did not get any follow-up from the feds until January. In a letter the company was directed to get a "discharge permit" to dump into the Rock River watershed, and to develop a plan for containing the feedlot pollutants. Both things are being done.

The EPA’s Phillippa Cannon told me there is no imminent health risk, but the measures need to be taken as a precaution.