Records Reveal Even With No Animals On Site, Easterday Dairy Violated Water Quality Laws

Public records reveal 11 violations in 2021.

Categories

Food System

For Immediate Release

Boardman, OR – Stand Up to Factory Farms has learned that before even obtaining a permit to operate a 28,000-head dairy, Easterday Dairy repeatedly violated the “cleanup” permit it inherited when it bought the former mega-dairy site near Boardman, Oregon. Public records obtained by the coalition show that the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) cited 11 separate instances where Easterday Dairy violated its wastewater discharge permit in 2021, indicating high levels of nitrates, phosphorus and e.coli bacteria in the soil and water nearby. Easterday Dairy would operate in an area already plagued by dangerous nitrate contamination, exemplified by the fact that Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality recently fined the Port of Morrow $2.1 million for over-applying nitrogen-laden wastewater to fields. 

In response, Stand Up To Factory Farms Coalition Organizer Kristina Beggen issued the following statement:

“Easterday Dairy is violating its wastewater discharge permit before the dairy cows even get there, and yet Oregon agencies are considering approving the Easterdays to operate a nearly 30,000 cow mega-dairy that will produce massive amounts of polluting waste. Communities in the Boardman area have lacked access to clean, safe drinking water for decades — in large part because of factory farms’ irresponsible waste management practices. The timing could not be worse to authorize a mega-dairy with a history of environmental violations to operate in a groundwater management area in a historic drought. Oregon’s state agencies have every reason to deny Easterday Dairy’s application for a mega-dairy permit that will risk further polluting Eastern Oregon’s already contaminated water sources.” 

While ODA has indicated it will take no immediate action on Easterday’s permit in light of the company’s current environmental violations, the Port of Morrow water contamination emergency, and Easterday’s financial situation, ODA has not denied or withdrawn the permit. The site’s previous occupant, Lost Valley Farms, closed after it was cited for hundreds of environmental violations, including overflowing manure lagoons and improper management of dead animals. 81 public drinking water systems were threatened by Lost Valley Farms, and the site still retains contamination from that period.

See the relevant documents here.

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Contact: Jessica Gable, (202) 683-2478, [email protected]