ODA’s draft water pollution permit for factory farms falls short

Salem, OR – The Stand Up to Factory Farms Coalition submitted comments to the Oregon Department of Agriculture in response to its draft revision of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) general permit that most factory farms across Oregon need to operate. In its current form, the draft permit does not require adequate water pollution monitoring, which is a cornerstone requirement of NPDES permits that is essential to holding polluters accountable. It also fails to require that all CAFOs in a Groundwater Management Area obtain individual permits, nor does it address the unique water quality risks of factory farms with waste digesters or require that these operations obtain individual permits.

In response to the new permit application, Stand Up to Factory Farms Coalition Organizer Kristina Beggen released this statement:
“Oregon’s historically weak factory farm regulations have allowed pollution from facilities like mega-dairies to contaminate streams and coastal bays, as well as already-polluted groundwater resources. These industrial dairies are all too frequently situated next to low income communities and communities of color that have borne the brunt of this burden, lacking access to clean water as climate disasters like wildfires and a mega-drought envelop Oregon. The Oregon Department of Agriculture must require stronger pollution protections and actively protect Oregon’s most vulnerable communities from the harms of mega-dairies.”

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