Cracking Down On Polluted Waterways

US - The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) has fined two livestock operators $14,000 each for failing to keep livestock waste from polluting waterways that flow into the Samish River.
calendar icon 14 December 2011
clock icon 1 minute read

The actions were part of Ecology’s work on the Clean Samish Initiative, an effort of more than 20 organisations and government agencies to coordinate cleanup of fecal coliform bacteria pollution in Samish Bay, the Samish River and their tributaries.

The bacteria originate in the intestinal tracts of humans, warm-blooded animals and birds. Improperly managed livestock operations are one of several types of pollution sources the initiative addresses.

Ecology issued the penalties to Mark Blackwood, who raises beef cattle near Sedro-Woolley, and Rick Clark, who raises bison on the Rockin R Ranch near Bow. At both locations, rainwater that contacts manure flows directly into ditches that flow to the Samish River or to Samish Bay.

“After months of repeated contact, we’ve seen little to no progress from these two operations,” said Richard Grout, who oversees water quality compliance at Ecology’s Bellingham Field Office.

“We’re working with dozens of livestock-rearing operations in the Samish, and most have done their part. We issued these two fines as a last resort in each case.”

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