ALDF Speaks Out Against Factory Farm Pollution at Washington Board of Health Hearing

Posted by Liz Hallinan, ALDF Litigation Fellow on June 11, 2014

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Dairy cows being milked.

Today, Washington’s Board of Health is holding a hearing regarding the impacts of animal agriculture on public health and the environment. ALDF, along with several environmental groups, is speaking at the hearing to urge the Board to hold factory farms accountable for their role in polluting the state water supply.

Thousands of animals are confined in crowded and filthy conditions on factory farms in Washington where they are forced to stand in their own waste for their entire lives. These conditions not only lead to unimaginable animal suffering, but also contribute to the spread of disease, endangering both animal and human health. These thousands of animals also create an enormous amount of waste—which then goes untreated and leaks into ground and surface water.

For example, Washington has around 500 dairies, containing 200,000 cows who produce 20 million pounds of manure each day. This untreated manure is kept in unlined lagoons or is spread across fields. This waste then runs into surface and groundwater, polluting streams and aquifers with nitrates and E.Coli. In fact, the EPA has determined that the nitrate pollution of drinking water in the Lower Yakima Valley is the result of these industrial animal farms. Antibiotics and other pharmaceuticals fed to the animals on these farms also contaminate the drinking supply. Water pollution from factory farms is a well-established risk to public health.

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Manure being spread on a field.

The Washington State Board of Health has the legal authority to promulgate rules to protect residents from the health hazards posed by manure from factory farms. ALDF is asking that the Board revise the regulations regarding the keeping of animals on concentrated animal operations to include specific and enforceable requirements for managing the spread of animal manure.

The Board of Health must act on this urgent matter, as neither the Washington Department of Ecology nor the Department of Agriculture is sufficiently regulating water pollution from factory farms. In fact, the Department of Ecology is charged by the federal Environmental Protection Agency with protecting the state waters under the Clean Water Act. However, the Department has so far ignored this duty and has required the federally mandated water pollution permit from only 1% of factory farms in the state.

It is imperative that Washington’s state agencies regulate the pollution coming from factory farms. Until then these facilities will continue to put both animal and human health at risk.

Click here to take action by asking the USDA to act on the coalition’s petition, 14-02.


27 thoughts on “ALDF Speaks Out Against Factory Farm Pollution at Washington Board of Health Hearing

  1. Robin Snackers says:

    This has to stop!!

  2. Robin Snackers says:

    This really has to stop!!
    Do People want to live like this?

  3. Pamela Geier says:

    Please put a stop to this animal abuse and human abuse. Please. Forever. There is NO reason in this day and age that anything like this should be happening. It’s disgusting. The people that do it and those that allow it are greedy, heartless human beings.

  4. Pamela Cornish says:

    Please stop this!! Nothing good comes of it!! All it does is cause suffering for the animals and causes problems for people’s health and the environment!!

  5. April Jarvis says:

    Please Stop this!

  6. Adilia Anduray says:

    The abuse and neglect needs to be stopped. Stop the greed n abuse of this innocent animals. I stopped drinking milk to do my part. I don’t consume dairy. I found very yummy alternatives. Stop this painful abuse now. They deserve better.

  7. Linda Weiland says:

    It’s time people start taking responsibility for the hideous mistakes we make, and doing something to FIX it!

  8. diane smith says:

    The treatment of these poor animals on factory farm is DISGUSTING!!!

  9. Linda says:

    Omg that is not how it should

  10. Lisa Denning says:

    This needs to be stopped. This is so horrific for these poor animals.

  11. Cin Pineda says:

    Our health, should be a requirement of the most highest standards – NOT the money they make!!

  12. Elizabeth Lewis says:

    FOR THE LIFE OF ME I DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHY YOU EVEN NEED TO BE TOLD THIS IS WRONG AND NEEDS TO STOP ALL THE ABUSE ON ALL ANIMALS.

  13. Jaimie Clarke says:

    This is deplorable!!!!!! And not okay!!

  14. Maralee Kilts says:

    They have no shame! Disgusting people!

  15. Robyn McEwan says:

    Go Vegan and this would not be a problem.

  16. Michelle says:

    End this torture!!!!! Now!!

  17. Natalie says:

    As a resident of dairy farm country in Washington state, I am excited to see this issue being worked on. For all the regulations we have on food production, it really is appalling to see the filth most dairy cows live in. To make matters worse, it rains A LOT in the Pacific Northwest, so all that poo goes right into the ground and into our drinking wells. I have had my well water tested, and it isn’t safe to drink due to bacteria from local cows. It is frustrating (and completely unnecessary) to have my drinking water contaminated by poor local farming practices. As a small pottery manufacturer, I must adhere to stringent state and federal laws to ensure that the way we make pottery isn’t damaging to our environment (land, water and air). I find it hypocritical and irresponsible of the government to enforce stringent laws on some businesses, and then turn a blind eye to the environmental damage large scale dairy farming has on the environment. Lets face it, people are going to continue to eat dairy products…so GOVERNMENT, do your job and get these dirty, polluting farms cleaned up!

  18. Lorie Obradovich says:

    THE “PEOPLE” THAT DO THESE THINGS ARE, CLEARLY, INCAPABLE OF EMPATHY OR COMPASSION. IT IS ABUSE, PURE AND SIMPLE.

  19. These farm factories Must be held responsible to clean up their messes and especially to ensure the clean habitats and safety for their animals. Instead of using the creatures for their greedy profits, they must not be allowed to abuse and torture these animals kept for human consumption,etc… We must be a country that rises above third world countries and treat all of our animals, including farm and livestock, without abuse and in horrific conditions. Thank you for your consideration.

  20. manon says:

    this needs to stop…I much rather pay 6 Dollars per gallon knowing that the cows are able to roam freely in the fields and are held in human conditions

  21. Cynthia Duncan says:

    Man and Machine for abuse in the worst case I have even seen. Stop the Madness,Are We CRAZY?

  22. Jill Callahan says:

    Please STOP this terrible practice! Nothing good comes from this! Greedy people continue this and it’s animal abuse completely!

  23. Traci Phillips says:

    If we have to tell you that this is wrong, then there is something wrong with you!

  24. Rene'e Cond'e says:

    What is wrong with the human mind? These unhumans should never have been born. They either have a brain malfunction or are evil. This must be stopped

  25. Concetta Falcone-Codding says:

    This has got to stop!! where is our conscience… shame on men for doing this. so sad.

  26. Iris M says:

    Please continue to pursue these horrible crimes against animals.. it has to stop!! Thank you ALDF for all you do!!!!!

  27. KC says:

    All factory farming, especially the cruelty to animals, must stop!