Massive waste spill and fish-kill
Illinois waterways and wildlife have again been polluted by alleged improper manure waste management at a factory hog farm.
It is alleged that the contamination of Hooper Branch, LLC, and Beaver Creek and the subsequent fish-kill was the result of manure spraying.
Hopkins Ridge confines more than 2,500 hogs, which by comparison produces the same amount of waste as about 12,500 humans.
The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency is asking for an immediate order to cease further waste spraying and cleanup of the spill.
The agency claims that the livestock operation contaminated waters of the state without a Clean Water Act permit and violated field application and waste storage regulations.
"Spraying liquefied manure is one of the cheapest ways to dispose of waste, but it carries a risk of runoff pollution, drift and odor," said Karen Hudson, a farmer and member of the Illinois Citizens for Clean Air & Water.
"Clean Water Act permits are actually intended to prevent Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations from discharging waste into surface waters," said Attorney Danielle Diamond of ICCAW.
Diamond noted that the Illinois EPA typically only requires CAFOs to obtain permits after they discharge, which means adequate protections generally aren't put into place until after pollution has already occurred.
Under the agency's proposed regulations, only a small universe of already polluting CAFOs will be required to apply for permits.
The agency's permitting and regulatory scheme for CAFOs will likely be questioned by the Illinois Pollution Control Board later this month.