April 9, 2018 05:50 PM
By Wyatt Bechtel
A feedlot in southeastern Washington has settled a fine imposed by the state after allegedly failing to manage air pollution.
Idaho-based J.R. Simplot Co. will pay a $5,000 fine to the Washington Department of Ecology after originally being fined 10-times as much at $50,000. The fine was originally imposed for small particles being allowed to go in the air.
The feedlot has agreed to pave roads around the yard with asphalt at an estimated cost of $30,000 to help limit dust particles at the 80,000 head feedlot near Wallula, Wash.
J.R. Simplot Co. had attempted to appeal the case with the state’s Pollution Control Hearings Board prior to the settlement.
“We’re happy to reach this resolution,” says Simplot spokesman Josh Jordan. “The safety of the community where we work is extremely important to us, so if there are concerns, we want to address that. The road should help significantly.”
According to state officials the feedlot will be required to update its dust-control plan and improve particle pollution prevention. These goals will be achieved by spraying water on roadways and cattle pens to control dust. Employee training will also be required.
Washington state law requires feedlots to limit dust and emissions from blowing onto neighbors. The Department of Ecology alleges the feedlot did not meet these goals from April 1 to June 20, 2015.