Grants Database

Center for Food Safety
Amount Awarded:
Project Title:
Protecting Oregon from the Nation’s Largest Mega-Dairy
Columbia River Fund, 2020
Water Resources / Watershed Protection ; Environmental Justice
Project Description:

This project seeks to stop the expansion of mega-dairies in Oregon, legally intervening to stop the the re-opening of one of the most disastrous mega-dairies in Oregon’s history, Easterday, located just miles from the Columbia River. Center for Food Safety is one of the groups leading the campaign with Senior Attorney Amy Van Saun serving as both co-manager and providing legal assistance. Our coalition of environmental, farmer, rural advancement, public health, and animal welfare organizations, uses grassroots pressure, policy initiatives, and litigation to protect communities and the environment from the threats posed by factory farms. If permitted, Easterday would house nearly 30,000 cows, generating 187 million gallons of animal waste a year, in an area that has long been designated a “Groundwater Management Area” due to unsafe nitrate levels (above the federal safe drinking water threshold). Excessive nitrates in drinking water cause serious health problems, like blue baby syndrome, reproductive and cardiovascular issues, and even cancers. Not only is Easterday located in a Groundwater Management Area with high nitrate levels, it is also an area with strained water resources. Lost Valley, at one third of its permitted size, was using nearly one million gallons of water per day in a critical groundwater area (meaning closed to new uses) through a loophole it exploited. Further, Umatilla and Morrow counties have a higher population of Hispanic and Latinx communities than the rest of Oregon, and low-income communities of color already disproportionately bear pollution burden from CAFOs, fossil fuel infrastructure, and other environmental harms.