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May 27, 2014

Judge Orders Lyon County Cattle Producer to Pay $12,000 for Water Pollution & Animal Feedlot Violat

Court order permanently bars producer from future violations

(DES MOINES, Iowa)  A Lyon County judge has ordered an Inwood cattle producer to pay a $12,000 penalty for improperly applying manure that flowed into a tributary of a local creek in 2012.

Last week, District Court Judge David Lester assessed a $12,000 civil penalty against Vernon Van Beek for improperly applying manure to land, which resulted in illegal discharges of manure into a tributary of Dry Run Creek and causing water quality violations.  Van Beek failed to report the discharges to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which it discovered during a June 1, 2012 routine inspection.

Van Beek owns and operates Lone Tree Feedlot, an open feedlot cattle operation with up to 990 head of cattle.

Court Order Resolves Attorney General Lawsuit
Van Beek consented to the judgment, including a permanent injunction from further violations.  The decree resolved a lawsuit filed Thursday by Attorney General Tom Miller on behalf of the DNR.  Van Beek has paid the civil penalty.

Past State Violations
In 2009, the DNR found that Lone Tree discharged manure into a nearby creek.

During three separate inspections in 2011, the DNR found additional manure discharges.

Past Federal Violation
In 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency alleged that Van Beek and Jason Dorhaut, doing business as Lone Tree Feedlot, discharged pollutants into a Dry Run Creek tributary, violating the federal Clean Water Act.

The EPA ordered Van Beek and Dorhaut to apply for a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit through the Iowa DNR, and to complete wastewater controls at their facilities.  The Clean Water Act requires municipal, industrial and commercial facilities that discharge wastewater or storm water directly from a point source into a waterway to obtain the permit to ensure waterways maintain federal and state water quality standards.

In 2012 the DNR issued Lone Tree Feedlot a NPDES wastewater treatment operating permit.


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