Meadowvale Dairy in northwest Iowa has agreed to pay $160,000 in civil penalties to settle a federal lawsuit filed against the factory farm for violating the Clean Water Act. The United States Attorney’s office filed the suit in February, after the dairy farm was cited 12 times by the state for allowing pollutants to be discharged into local waterways. Meadowvale Dairy operates two feedlots (which contain approximately 10,000 cows), and waste from the animals entered two local tributaries connected to the Big Sioux River. After the violations, the Department of Natural Resources found elevated levels of E.Coli—a leading cause of foodborne illness—downstream from the farm. Residents across the country—including those near a mega dairy farm planned to open in Oregon—are actively requesting that local government officials block the construction of factory farms due to environmental concerns.
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