A beef cattle feeding operation in Walla Walla County has been fined $50,000 for failing to manage air pollution. The Washington Department of Ecology found that the facility allowed small particles into the air, including dust and dried manure.
Fine particles can cause health problems for people who are exposed frequently and at high enough levels.
Simplot Feeders LLP violated air quality rules which require management of dust and other pollution. Simplot’s monitoring data shows more than 50 days between April and September 2015 that staff observed excess dust onsite or leaving the property. The operators didn’t apply practices outlined in their dust control plan designed to prevent small-particle pollution.
Ecology inspectors observed broken sprinklers and poor water application intended to control pollution from cattle pens and roadways. Inspectors also noted excess dust being released from the feed prep area.
The company received a formal notice from Ecology in July for failing to manage air pollution in the feed prep area, cattle pens and roadways. Since the notice, some improvements have been made to reduce dust, specifically in the feed prep area.
Simplot Feeders may appeal the fine to the state’s Pollution Control Hearings Board within 30 days.