Mon., August 15, 2011 8:03am (EDT)

Feds Critical Of Large Farm Inspections
By Associated Press
Updated: 3 years ago

ATLANTA  —  
A federal agency says there's "insufficient oversight" in some state inspections of large farms in Georgia. (photo-Neil Foley)
A federal agency says there's "insufficient oversight" in some state inspections of large farms in Georgia. (photo-Neil Foley)
A federal agency's report blasts state-level inspections of large farms in Georgia, saying insufficient oversight of how those farms dispose of manure pose a risk to nearby waterways.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Sunday that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Inspector General found a "significant risk" that Georgia's program for regulating its largest livestock producers "is failing to protect water quality."

The state Environmental Protection Division and the Georgia Department of Agriculture are in charge of inspecting farms with large numbers of cows, pigs and chickens and how they deal with manure, which can pollute streams and lakes with nitrogen and phosphorus at levels that are dangerous to fish as well as people.

The EPA inspector general's report concluded that nearly three-fourths of state inspections of 48 large farms were either faulty or incomplete.