Last November, waste from The Maschhoffs, an industrial sow feeding operation, spilled into a creek that leads to the Des Moines River. Following the disaster, the Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement filed a Clean Water Act lawsuit against the facility, which recently resulted in a $10,000 fine from the Department of Natural Resources. The penalty is seen as a victory, but many community activists and environmental enthusiasts question why preventative measures were not taken before the accident occurred, notably the facility obtaining CWA authorization. “Factory farms using outdated waste storage systems that are prone to recurring failures and illegal discharges should have to obtain Clean Water Act permits,” says Tarah Heinzen, attorney for Environmental Integrity Project, on the Humane Society of the United States website. According to the HSUS, The Maschoffs facility that experienced the spill produces more than 11 million gallons of liquefied animal waste per year.
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