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By Bridget Huber, Fair Warning 

Cows at a large Wisconsin dairy farm/Kate Golden, Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism

Cows at a large Wisconsin dairy farm/Kate Golden, Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism

As factory farms take over more and more of the nation’s livestock production, a major environmental threat has emerged: Pollution from the waste produced by the immense crush of animals.

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that America’s livestock create three times as much excreta as the human population.  By the agency’s reckoning, a dairy farm with 2,500 cows – which is large, but not exceptional – can generate as much waste as the people in a city the size of Miami.

By Elizabeth Royte, Food and Environment Reporting Network

Drilling rig visible from the Schilke Ranch in North Dakota

In the midst of the domestic energy boom, livestock on farms near oil-and-gas drilling operations nationwide have been quietly falling sick and dying. While scientists have yet to isolate cause and effect, many suspect chemicals used in drilling and hydrofracking (or “fracking”) operations are poisoning animals through the air, water, or soil.

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