Washington Facts

  • The average industrial feedlot in Washington has more than 12,100 beef cattle.
  • In 2010, a manure lagoon on a 750-cow dairy collapsed, spilling 12 million gallons of manure onto fields that leaked into the Snohimish River.
  • The 86,000 dairy cows on factory-farm dairies in Yakima County, Washington produce as much untreated manure as the sewage output from the New York City metro area.
  • In 2008, a Mt. Vernon, Washington dairy agreed to pay an $8,000 penalty to settle alleged Clean Water Act violations for manure discharges that leaked from a barn into a tributary that leads to the Puget Sound.
  • In 2010, Washington state environmental officials fined a dairy $22,000 for over-applying manure that spilled into the Yakima River. Tests of the river showed E. coli levels 2,400 times greater than permitted levels.
  • In 2008, a Washington state environmental group sued a 6,300-cow dairy alleging that the operation was violating the Clean Air Act for releasing more than 20,000 pounds of methanol gas, which can harm neighbors of the farm.
  • The 181,000 dairy cows, 158,00 beef cattle, 11,900 hogs, 5.4 million egg-laying hens and 5.1 million broiler chickens on factory farms in Washington produce as much untreated manure as 60 million people — 9 times the population of Washington.
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