Manure Manager

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Feedlot violations in MN cost farmer $45,000


June 16, 2010
By Manure Manager

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June 14, 2010, Brainerd,
MN – The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has reached an agreement
with a state farmer requiring him to pay $45,000 for alleged feedlot violations
at his cattle farm near Clarissa in Todd County.
June 14, 2010, Brainerd,
MN – The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has reached an agreement
with a state farmer requiring him to pay $45,000 for alleged feedlot violations
at his cattle farm near Clarissa in Todd County.

MPCA and Todd County
feedlot staff inspections during 2008 and 2009 revealed several violations,
mostly relating to pollution discharges into area waterways. According to
inspection reports, Joe Varner failed to correct identified pollution hazards
that allowed manure-contaminated sediment and runoff to discharge into two road
ditches, one of which leads directly to area streams and rivers. These
discharges were not reported and no attempt was made to recover them once they
had left the property. The feedlot also exceeded its county-permitted limit of
712 head of cattle, and failed to obtain a required national pollution
discharge elimination system permit once the number of cattle exceeded 1,000
head.

Of the $45,000 civil
penalty, up to $15,000 may be abated if Varner can prove he spent that amount
to correct the pollution hazards that allowed the discharges from his property.
If this is not done to the satisfaction of the MPCA, then the final $15,000
will be due in March 2012.  Varner
must also submit a list of all sites in Minnesota that contain cattle he owns,
along with evidence that these sites are properly registered and permitted.


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