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