Department of Ecology News Release - July 23, 2014

Feedlot fined $24,000 for air quality violations
Simplot Feeders LLP released uncontrolled particle pollution

SPOKANE – A beef cattle feeding operation in Walla Walla County has been fined $24,000 for releasing particle pollution into the air. At high concentrations, small particles can cause respiratory problems for people.

Simplot Feeders LLP violated air quality rules while grinding hay in March 2014, which released large amounts of dust into the air.

Inspectors from the Washington Department of Ecology observed particle pollution above limits allowed in the company’s air quality permit for the feedlot and outside the property boundary. Ecology also received complaints about dust from this facility’s operation.               

Simplot’s permit requires the dust to be controlled by an air filter and remain within the feedlot property boundary.

Simplot had recently upgraded equipment but underestimated the dust that the new hay grinding would release into the air.

Ecology is working with Simplot to correctly estimate hay grinding emissions and update the permit. Simplot will be required to make modifications that may include installing additional pollution control equipment to meet air quality rules.

Simplot Feeders may appeal the fine to the state’s Pollution Control Hearings Board within 30 days.

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Contact:

Brook Beeler, Washington Department of Ecology, 509-329-3478, and @ecyspokane