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E-M:/ River Ridge Farms gets EPA Order

Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>

Date: Fri, 22 Jun 2001 08:47:54 -0500
From: Kelley.Jeff@epamail.epa.gov
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                 U.S. EPA REGION 5 NEWS RELEASE

          MEDIA CONTACT: Phillippa Cannon, (312) 353-6218

For Immediate Release                                  No. 01-OPA095


CHICAGO (June 21, 2001) -- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) Region 5 recently ordered River Ridge Farms Inc. to stop
unauthorized discharges of manure, wastewater and silage leachate
from its two large concentrated animal feeding operations in
Coopersville and Allendale, Mich.  On January 30, 2001, after a
rainfall, an EPA inspector observed discharges of manure-
contaminated stormwater at the cattle feeding operation in
Coopersville, Mich., and at the River Ridge Dairy in Allendale,
Mich.   EPA alleges that these discharges violate the Clean Water

EPA issued an administrative order on June 12, 2001, which also
requires River Ridge Farms Inc. to develop and implement a storm-
water pollution prevention plan, improve its capacity to safely
store waste and submit a comprehensive plan to manage all wastes at
the facility, including manure, wastewater, spoiled milk, waste feed
and silage, silage leachate and dead animals.

"Discharges of manure and other wastes from feedlots may kill fish,
cause infectious diseases in people, lead to excessive algae growth
and upset the balance of life in streams and lakes," said Jo Lynn
Traub, EPA regional Water Division director.  "Permitting tools,
such as storm-water pollution prevention plans,  impose enforceable
pollution control standards and management practices on facilities
to protect water quality and public health."

"River Ridge Farms has a history of alleged discharges going back
more than two decades. The Michigan Department of Environmental
Quality has taken a number of enforcement actions against the
company, however, unlawful discharges have continued," Traub said.
"The purpose of this action is to order the farm to construct
containment facilities and use management practices to ensure that
discharges of pollutants do not occur."

About River Ridge Farms, Inc.
EPA also inspected the River Ridge Farm facilities in October 2000,
and determined that the large dairy and the large cattle feeding
operation were concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs)
because there are more than 700 dairy cattle at the dairy and more
than 1000 cattle at the cattle feeding operation.  The dairy
discharges manure-contaminated stormwater into a farm drain and
subsequently the Grand River near Allendale.  The cattle feeding
operation discharges to the Terpstra Sadler Drain and subsequently
the Grand River from its Coopersville facility.

On February 2, 2001, River Ridge Farms, Inc. submitted National
Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit applications
to MDEQ for River Ridge Farm and River Ridge Dairy.

About EPA
Since September 2000, EPA has inspected 10 Michigan farms to
determine whether they were CAFOs requiring NPDES permits, to better
protect human health and water quality in the State and ensure that
facilities comply with the Clean Water Act. Under the Clean Water
Act, a CAFO that has more than 1,000 animal units--defined as 700
dairy cattle or 2,500 hogs--must have an NPDES permit.

Founded in 1970, EPA is responsible for protecting the environment
and human health. The Agency enforces air, water and land laws and
ensures that designated health standards are met. EPA Region 5
includes six Great Lakes States: Illinois, Indiana, Mic

Alex J. Sagady & Associates        Email:  ajs@sagady.com

Environmental Enforcement, Permits/Technical Review, Public Policy and
Communications on Air, Water and Waste Issues
and Community Environmental Protection

PO Box 39  East Lansing, MI  48826-0039
(517) 332-6971 (voice); (517) 332-8987 (fax)

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