Dear Editor:

The following press release was issued today by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) regarding the fine levied on The Maschhoffs hog CAFO in Keosauqua, Iowa for its November 2013 manure spill.

Jefferson County Farmers & Neighbors, Inc. (JFAN) is pleased to note that JFAN’s legal counsel, David E. Sykes, is also Iowa legal counsel for HSUS and represented the organization in filing the 60 day warning letter against The Maschhoffs, as required under the Federal Clean Water Act. HSUS, founded in 1954, is the nation’s largest and most influential animal advocacy organization.

Mr. Sykes is also a principle in the Charlie Speer/Richard Middleton/David E. Sykes Iowa legal team, representing communities fighting factory farms. To date, the team has 16 cases under review.

To make this press release relevant to local readership, JFAN has added two paragraphs (in red) to the original release.

Regards,
Diane Rosenberg
Executive Director
 
Jefferson County Farmers & Neighbors, Inc.
P.O. Box 811
Fairfield, IA 52556
www.jfaniowa.org • 641-209-6600 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Iowa Factory Farm Fined $10,000 for Large Waste Spill

Enforcement Comes After Coalition Issues Notice of Intent to File Clean Water Act Lawsuit

(Feb. 12, 2014) — The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has fined Illinois-based pork producer The Maschhoffs $10,000 for a spill of animal waste from one of its sow confinement operations in southeast Iowa. The action follows recent efforts by a coalition of community, environmental and animal welfare organizations to enforce federal environmental laws.

On Nov. 4, 2013, The Maschhoffs experienced a large spill of swine waste from its facility in Keosauqua, Iowa. According to DNR, the event resulted in the discharge of animal waste into an on-site creek that is a tributary of the Des Moines River. The spill stemmed from an obstruction in the facility’s manure management system, and followed another in late 2011.

Shortly after the November spill, the Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, through its counsel the Environmental Integrity Project, and the Humane Society of the United States notified DNR and The Maschhoffs of its intent to file a federal Clean Water Act lawsuit concerning the Keosauqua facility.

Fairfield attorney David E. Sykes is HSUS Iowa counsel, representing the organization in its case against The Maschhoffs. Sykes is also the legal counsel for Jefferson County Farmers & Neighbors, Inc. (JFAN) and a principal in the Charlie Speer/Richard Middleton/David E. Sykes Iowa legal team.

Jonathan Lovvorn, senior vice president and chief counsel for animal protection litigation at The HSUS said, “This penalty is not a complete answer to this operation’s environmental problems, but it will help deter future spills from this and other abusive pig confinement facilities.”

David Goodner, farming and environment organizer at Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement said, “Iowa CCI members question why any opportunity for meaningful public participation was cut out of the administrative enforcement process.”

Tarah Heinzen, attorney for Environmental Integrity Project representing Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement said, “Factory farms using outdated waste storage systems that are prone to recurring failures and illegal discharges should have to obtain Clean Water Act permits. Nonetheless, this Consent Order shows that citizen efforts to hold both polluters and the DNR accountable are having an impact in Iowa.”

David E. Sykes, HSUS Iowa legal counsel said, “The joining together of these well-established environmental groups to help Iowans protect themselves from the proliferation of CAFOs is a sign of a growing resistance to proliferating CAFOs in Iowa. These are positive steps on the long road towards protecting and reclaiming the quality of life for Iowa communities. ”

Located near a bend of the Des Moines River, The Maschhoffs’ Keosauqua facility is an industrial sow feeding operation that confines approximately 7,500 pigs and produces more than 11 million gallons of liquefied animal waste per year. The section of the Des Moines River adjoining the facility is listed in accordance with the Clean Water Act as impaired for biological pollutants. Despite hundreds of spills, Iowa DNR has never required a hog factory farm to obtain a Clean Water Act permit.

Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement is represented by The Environmental Integrity Project, and the Humane Society of the United States is represented by David Sykes of David E. Sykes, P.C. in Fairfield Iowa and lawyers with the HSUS’ animal protection litigation section.

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MEDIA CONTACTS:

Tara Heinzen, attorney, EIP at (612) 296-0994 or theinzen@environmentalintegrity.org.
 
David Goodner, Organizer, at (612) 296-0994 or theinzen@environmentalintegrity.org.
 
Anna West, The Humane Society of the United States at (301) 258-1518 or awest@humanesociety.org.

The Environmental Integrity Project is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization established in March of 2002 by former EPA enforcement attorneys to advocate for effective enforcement of environmental laws. EIP has three goals: 1) to provide objective analyses of how the failure to enforce or implement environmental laws increases pollution and affects public health; 2) to hold federal and state agencies, as well as individual corporations, accountable for failing to enforce or comply with environmental laws; and 3) to help local communities obtain the protection of environmental laws – on the Web at environmentalintegrity.org

Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (http://www.iowacci.org) is a 37-year-old statewide non-profit grassroots organization. Iowa CCI has led the fight against factory farms in Iowa for the past 15 years and has pushed for better environmental and permitting laws for factory farms on the state and national level – on the Web at iowacci.org.

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization, rated the most effective by its peers. Since 1954, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. We rescue and care for tens of thousands of animals each year, but our primary mission is to prevent cruelty before it occurs. We're there for all animals, across America and around the world. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty – on the Web at humanesociety.org

The Humane Society of the United States

2100 L Street, N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20037

humanesociety.org

Celebrating Animals, Confronting Cruelty