Don’t Discharge Animal Waste into Groundwater

Target: Tom Morrill, Member of the Washington State Pollution Control Hearings Board

Goal: Urge Department of Ecology to strengthen water quality permit standards for concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs).

Fresh water quality may be at risk due to proposed updates by the Washington State Department of Ecology on discharge permits relating to animal waste associated with concentrated animal feeding operations. Environmental groups including the Sierra Club are fighting on the grounds that these updates would violate the Clean Water Act. The activists argue specifically that the permits do not include requirements for water quality monitoring equipment and manure lagoon liners to reduce the risk of water contamination. Furthermore, the proposed permits would allow for the discharge of animal waste into groundwater. We must take action now to stop this contamination before it starts.

The Environmental Protection Agency delegates the responsibility of animal discharge standards to individual states under the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System. These rules govern how animal waste is regulated, with the goal of limiting pollution and water contamination. These changes being considered have the potential to pose a significant threat to public health as over 26 million pounds of waste are produced each day by CAFOs in Washington State. Taxpayers would also cover the increased clean-up costs in a state where 75 percent of total pollution is already created by the agriculture industry.

It is critically important that state regulatory agencies draft rules that prioritize public health and environmental sustainability. Please sign the below petition urging the Washington State Pollution Control Hearings Board to grant the appeal of the proposed CAFO discharge permits, compelling the Department of Ecology to construct a revised CAFO discharge permit.


Dear Mr. Morrill,

I am writing to state my support for the appeal of the proposed Department of Ecology CAFO discharge permit regulations. It is clear that these will endanger public health through inadequate requirements for water quality monitoring, manure lagoon liners and ground water contamination.

As a public servant you have a responsibility to prioritize public health, safety and environmental sustainability. Please consider granting this appeal so that the proposed rules may be amended.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Derek Balsley

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  1. Melinda Harris says:

    If “producers” would return to raising food animals in the way that is demonstrably healthier for both the animals themselves AND the people eating them, we would suddenly have outstanding organic fertilizer rather than toxic waste. Please ban corporate agriculture.

    • Yes, and we can go a step further and phase out animal agriculture completely. Animal agriculture is a huge cause of deforestation around the world, and it is completely unnecessary as we don’t need to eat animals or dairy products to live long and healthy lives. Animal agriculture is also incredibly cruel. Please see COWSPIRACY.

  2. Cynthia Gannon says:

    How dare these people inflict insanitary water conditions on the public. Not to mention the the disgracefulness and wayward cruel practices of corporate agriculture . But profitably and corporate greed prevail over compassion and doing the right thing for animals and humans. Don’t they?

  3. Gene Sengstake says:

    I seriously doubt whether this problem ranks very high on the Washington State Pollution Control Board’s priorities list. Like every other governmental agency – they’ll do whatever they damn well please – for whatever reasons “they” consider to be most/more important – – –

  4. Paulette Mirfield says:

    Let’s see. Gut health care, poison water, spill MORE oil-everything’s OK. Corporations have gotten theirs and f#ck the rest of us. MAD, MAD, and MORE MAD!!!


  6. Anne Moeller says:

    Let us all become vegans – like me- and put a stop to this!!

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