Iowa AG announces penalty over hog manure

Bryan Cohen Sep. 13, 2012, 1:29pm


SPENCER, Iowa (Legal Newsline) - Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller announced a $15,000 penalty on Tuesday against a Clay County hog producer for allegedly engaging in an illegal manure application incident that killed fish.

A consent decree was filed on Tuesday by Clay County District Court Judge Nancy L. Whittenburg that assessed a civil penalty against Bruce Click, the owner and operator of a 4,000 head finishing unit. Click allegedly surface applied manure in September 2011 without incorporating it into the soil as is required.

Click also allegedly discharged the manure into a tile line that flowed into a tributary of the Little Sioux River. The manure flow allegedly dropped the water quality below standard levels and resulted in a fish kill. A state-approved manure management plan required Click to incorporate any surface applied manure within 24 hours, but Click admitted that he failed to comply in August and September 2011.

Miller alleged that in September 2011, Click ran a hose from a confinement building to an adjacent corn field for 400 to 500 feet. The hose ended in a large pool of manure. The manure then allegedly ran into a surface tile intake, discharging into the Little Sioux River tributary. The manure resulted in the water turning a murky brown color with a strong odor of manure. The toxic ammonia concentrations in the water killed nearby fish.

Under the terms of the consent decree, Click admitted the violations and agreed to a permanent injunction against further violations and the $15,000 penalty.

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