Manure Manager

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MN cattle operation penalized for feedlot violations


June 11, 2015, Brainerd, MN ― A cattle operation near Pillager, Minn., has been fined $30,000 and must take corrective actions as a result of feedlot violations.

According to Minnesota Pollution Control Agency staff inspection reports, the feedlot allowed cattle access to Seven Mile Creek, failed to operate and maintain a manure-storage basin according to MPCA-approved plans, and housed cattle on unpermitted areas of land, which caused manure discharges to a nearby stream that resulted in excess E. coli bacteria levels. Other violations included stockpiling manure within the 50-foot setback from a road ditch and improper land application of manure, which resulted in over applying nitrogen and phosphorus.

Seven Mile Creek and the nearby stream both drain into the Crow Wing River, which is on the MPCA’s list of impaired waters. Pollutants like E. coli, nitrogen and phosphorus can negatively impact water quality and harm aquatic life.

The operation has agreed to pay a $30,000 civil penalty and complete a series of corrective actions.

When calculating penalties, the MPCA takes into account how seriously the violation affected the environment, whether it is a first-time or repeat violation, and how promptly the violation was reported to appropriate authorities. It also attempts to recover the calculated economic benefit gained by failure to comply with environmental laws in a timely manner.