The ground and surface waters that feed Puget Sound currently suffer from pollution related in large part to leaking manure lagoons used by industrial dairies known as concentrated animal feeding operations. As part of its advocacy for a strong discharge permit that protects Puget Sound and Washington’s waterways from harmful nutrient, nitrate and fecal coliform pollution, the Western Environmental Law Center today published three illuminating maps of Puget Sound area dairy manure lagoons.
One map shows the 415 CAFO manure lagoons in northwest Washington by distance from the nearest water body. This is important for assessing the risk of pollution entering Washington waterways. Another map shows the same data zoomed in on Whatcom and Skagit Counties.
A third map shows CAFO manure lagoons in Whatcom and Skagit Counties by excavation depth. This is important because the deeper a lagoon is dug into the ground, the higher the likelihood the lagoon is within the groundwater table.
The Washington Department of Ecology is currently developing a new state CAFO General Discharge Permit, which must include provisions to prevent the discharge of all pollutants from industrial dairies in the state of Washington. The Department of Ecology has studied dairy manure lagoons and concluded that all lagoons leak and are discharging pollutants directly into the waters of the state in violation of state law.
Please see our fact sheet for more information on industrial dairy CAFO pollution in the Puget Sound area. It is available online at http://bit.ly/1GqxkVJ.
Puget Sound lagoon distance from nearest water body map: http://bit.ly/1MZnLzz
Whatcom and Skagit Counties distance from nearest water body map: http://bit.ly/1SkvfzX
Whatcom and Skagit County lagoon excavation depth map: http://bit.ly/1feWygS
Read more about our sustainable agriculture work in Washington here: https://westernlaw.org/defending-wildlands/clean-free-flowing-rivers/sustainable-agriculture-campaign-wa/
The Western Environmental Law Center is a public interest nonprofit
law firm. WELC combines legal skills with sound conservation and
environmental science to address major environmental issues throughout
the West. WELC does not charge clients and partners for services, but
relies instead on charitable gifts from individuals, families, and
foundations to accomplish its mission. www.westernlaw.org