Today, March 31, 2017, the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) and the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) issued the Oregon Confined Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) Individual National Pollutant Discharge System (NPDES) Permit for Lost Valley Farm, located in Boardman Oregon. Read ODA & DEQ’s response to the comment period here.
Statement from Friends of Family Farmers, Oregon Chapter of the Sierra Club, Friends of the Columbia Gorge, Columbia Riverkeeper, Center for Biological Diversity, Humane Society of the United States, Socially Responsible Agricultural Project, Food & Water Watch, WaterWatch of Oregon, Humane Oregon, and Center for Food Safety on Opposition to State’s Approval of Permit for Oregon Mega-Dairy:
“Despite broad concerns about harms to community health and the environment, the Oregon Department of Agriculture and Department of Environmental Quality today issued a Clean Water Act permit to the Lost Valley Farm. The approval comes in spite of unprecedented public opposition to the proposed 30,000 cow mega-dairy, with more than 4,200 public comments filed calling for officials to deny this reckless water pollution permit. Lost Valley Farm will produce approximately 187 million gallons of animal waste each year and use over 320 million gallons of water annually, posing significant risks of hazardous pollution and long-term impacts to the Umatilla Basin and Columbia River, especially as water becomes scarcer due to drought and climate change. The agency’s decision also highlights a gaping loophole in Oregon law: the state exempts large dairies like Lost Valley from monitoring and reducing air pollution. The Oregon Legislature can fix this loophole by passing SB 197, a bill that would end unchecked pollution from mega dairies.”
Additional Quotes from Coalition Members:
Ivan Maluski, Policy Director, Friends of Family Farmers
“The agencies’ decision also exposes Oregon’s ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ approach for air pollution from mega-dairies. We would expect this kind of approach to major sources of air pollution from the Trump Administration, not Governor Kate Brown. A consensus proposal the dairy industry signed on to a decade ago would require air pollution monitoring and regulation for this operation, but to date, no such program exists. We urge the Legislature to move forward with SB 197 to address the significant air pollution issues this operation is likely to create.”
Nathan Donley, Senior Scientist, Center for Biological Diversity
“In approving a factory farm that will produce more waste than most Oregon cities and suck up 300 million gallons of water every year, Oregon officials are carelessly gambling with the region’s long-term environmental health,” said Nathan Donley, a senior scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity. “As thousands of Oregonians have told state officials, the inherent risks to water and air quality posed by dumping 30,000 cows into this fragile environment are far too high.”